Public Lands

A quest for Alaska oil sparks a fight over tribal sovereignty
A quest for Alaska oil sparks a fight over tribal sovereignty
An energy company with a history of environmental violations is conducting exploratory drilling in the Yukon Flats.
The return of the endangered Mexican wolf
The return of the endangered Mexican wolf
A program that places captive-born pups into wild dens is helping North America’s rarest wolf subspecies reclaim its native territory in the Southwest.
How a trail in rural Oregon became a target of far-right extremism
How a trail in rural Oregon became a target of far-right extremism
To understand the state’s urban-rural divide, start by looking at Yamhill County’s proposed walking trail.
Land transfer advocate and longtime agency combatant now leads BLM
Land transfer advocate and longtime agency combatant now leads BLM
William Perry Pendley has been tasked with overseeing 245 million acres of public lands he’s argued the federal government shouldn’t own.
Can Western states afford to break the boom-and-bust cycle?
Can Western states afford to break the boom-and-bust cycle?
Climate action on public lands would force a reckoning for fossil fuel dependent states and communities.
The legacy of colonialism on public lands created the Mauna Kea conflict
The legacy of colonialism on public lands created the Mauna Kea conflict
Public lands are often the only places where Indigenous sacred landscapes still exist.
Hunters and anglers struggle for public access to Colorado’s state trust lands
Hunters and anglers struggle for public access to Colorado’s state trust lands
Compared to its neighbors, the state limits public recreation, but that is changing.
Staffers allege misconduct at BLM’s busiest oil and gas office
Staffers allege misconduct at BLM’s busiest oil and gas office
Complaints to Interior’s Office of Inspector General reveal concerns that the Carlsbad Field Office broke laws to favor industry.
It’s time to move the Bureau of Land Management out of D.C.
It’s time to move the Bureau of Land Management out of D.C.
(Most) of those living in the West have the public lands’ best interest at heart.
Critics are wary of Bureau of Land Management relocation efforts
Critics are wary of Bureau of Land Management relocation efforts
As the agency eyes a move West, critics say the change would be detrimental to public land policy.
Memorial Rock; osprey survivor; fooling fish
Memorial Rock; osprey survivor; fooling fish
Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.
Rep. Xochitl Torres Small offers lessons in rural politics
Rep. Xochitl Torres Small offers lessons in rural politics
The Democratic congresswoman won a conservative region by talking about concerns all Westerners share.
The West’s worst fires aren’t burning in forests
The West’s worst fires aren’t burning in forests
Range fires get bigger every year, threatening sagebrush habitat and rural towns.
Interior Department’s coal reboot ignores tribes and curtails public input
Interior Department’s coal reboot ignores tribes and curtails public input
The Obama administration wanted to rethink coal leasing; now, Trump is rushing forward.
Interior Department border deployments are mired in secrecy
Interior Department border deployments are mired in secrecy
Law enforcement agents guarding wildlife refuges have been sent to the border, leaving public lands more exposed.
After nearly going extinct, Washington’s pygmy rabbits need room to grow
After nearly going extinct, Washington’s pygmy rabbits need room to grow
Recovering the endangered rabbits will test society’s willingness to let nature reclaim a landscape.
Mining laws have long been used for recreation
Mining laws have long been used for recreation
In Idaho, a law meant to boost mining actually allows for its end as recreation transforms the West’s economy.
Public lands top Rep. Debra Haaland’s agenda
Public lands top Rep. Debra Haaland’s agenda
One of the first Native American women elected to Congress is fighting fossil fuel development on ‘the most pristine and beautiful places in our country.’
The key to endangered species recovery? Communication.
The key to endangered species recovery? Communication.
A retired federal biologist says Trump’s Interior Department is more business as usual than critics claim.
Designing for access in outdoor spaces doesn’t mean paving pathways
Designing for access in outdoor spaces doesn’t mean paving pathways
A reckoning with assumptions about who wants to spend time in nature.
Bears Ears’ only visitor center isn’t run by the feds
Bears Ears’ only visitor center isn’t run by the feds
With the monument facing stripped-down protections and sky rocketing visitation, a local nonprofit built its own guerrilla visitor center to educate the masses.
Study finds 96% of national parks have hazardous air quality
Study finds 96% of national parks have hazardous air quality
Popular parks such as Yosemite and Joshua Tree have pollution levels that threaten visitors and wildlife.
Interior secretary blames Congress for his inaction on climate change
Interior secretary blames Congress for his inaction on climate change
There’s no law to make him address the climate and biodiversity crises, David Bernhardt said: ‘You guys come up with the shalls.’
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