Public Lands

The West is losing 1.3 million acres of sagebrush steppe each year
The West is losing 1.3 million acres of sagebrush steppe each year
A new report aims to advance transforming rangeland conservation across 13 states and 115 million acres.
Trump tried to open Alaska lands to resource development — what will Biden do?
Trump tried to open Alaska lands to resource development — what will Biden do?
The Bureau of Land Management is taking comments on whether it should open about 28 million acres to oil, gas and mineral extraction.
What new national monuments are likely under Biden?
What new national monuments are likely under Biden?
New designations could help meet conservation goals set by the administration.
Congress meets with Native leaders to discuss co-management of federal lands
Congress meets with Native leaders to discuss co-management of federal lands
Staving off attempts by Republican officials to talk about Russia, tribal leaders spent the morning in D.C. highlighting the benefits of co-management plans and tribal sovereignty.
5 questions you asked about trespassing through airspace
5 questions you asked about trespassing through airspace
We recently wrote about four hunters charged with trespassing even though they didn’t touch private land. What the heck?
Why 4 hunters in Wyoming were charged with trespassing on land they never touched
Why 4 hunters in Wyoming were charged with trespassing on land they never touched
A checkerboard pattern of parcel ownership complicates public land access in the West.
What’s getting more expensive? Everything but grazing fees.
What’s getting more expensive? Everything but grazing fees.
Fees to ranch on public lands will remain the same despite dizzying inflation felt by consumers.
What does the Bureau of Land Management need? More money.
What does the Bureau of Land Management need? More money.
A lot more money — and its new, nonprofit foundation is here to help.
The dizzying scope of abandoned mine hazards on public lands
The dizzying scope of abandoned mine hazards on public lands
As many as 500,000 abandoned mine features litter federal land, many posing environmental or physical safety hazards that especially threaten Native communities.
Conservation groups should be able to lease land to protect it
Conservation groups should be able to lease land to protect it
‘Use it or lose it’ rules can bias public-land management in favor of extraction.
Interior devotes billions to plugging old oil wells. Is it enough?
Interior devotes billions to plugging old oil wells. Is it enough?
The agency under-counted abandoned wells by more than half, which means the effort covers only a fraction of the cost.
Biden’s ‘herky-jerky’ first year on Western issues
Biden’s ‘herky-jerky’ first year on Western issues
The new president sacrificed bold executive action to try to win over Congress.
Gold country: A precious metal, a mining mega-corp and a captive workforce
Gold country: A precious metal, a mining mega-corp and a captive workforce
In 2019, two gold-mining giants joined forces, with huge consequences for the Northern Nevada community and economy.
Harry Reid’s legacy will be remembered on the land
Harry Reid’s legacy will be remembered on the land
A reflection on what endures after the death of the longtime senator from Nevada.
Religious gatekeeping in red-rock country
Religious gatekeeping in red-rock country
A resort capitalizes on a nearby Yavapai-Apache religious site despite having no meaningful relationship with the tribe.
Biden eyes protections for sage grouse
Biden eyes protections for sage grouse
Here are 11 stats on why that matters.
Two Democrats kill chances of reforming outdated hardrock mining law
Two Democrats kill chances of reforming outdated hardrock mining law
The nearly 150-year old law allows mining companies to extract resources like copper and lithium royalty-free.
The Westiest programs in Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
The Westiest programs in Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
The act is the New Deal redux, with a splash of ecosystem restoration.
The Park Service buried its own study on harassment
The Park Service buried its own study on harassment
The agency promised transparency and action. Instead, it kept the audit confidential.
The hunt for critical minerals in Colorado raises critical questions
The hunt for critical minerals in Colorado raises critical questions
When Earth MRI began surveying, residents grew concerned about the prospect of mining.
Bears Ears is back — but don’t celebrate just yet
Bears Ears is back — but don’t celebrate just yet
Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk unpacks the deeper implications — and limitations — of Biden’s monuments proclamation.
Where do public lands factor into the homelessness crisis?
Where do public lands factor into the homelessness crisis?
As the housing crisis in the West deepens, more unhoused people are making a home outside.
Collecting seeds to restore prairie grasslands
Collecting seeds to restore prairie grasslands
‘These youth are going to be able to take ownership of healing the land at Fort Belknap.’
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