public lands

COURTESY GRAND JUNCTION BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

The House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing today on the Bureau of Land Management's plans to move headquarters out west. Congressional Democrats are among those skeptical that the move is the right choice. That includes Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva.

The newly-minted head of the Bureau of Land Management is defending himself after attracting the ire of environmental groups. They are concerned about potential conflicts of interest and his views on public lands. 

Electric bikes are coming to national parks and other public lands managed by the Interior Department. 

Millions of acres of public land throughout our region are inaccessible to the public. A new law in Nevada is trying to fix that.

Public lands that used to be a part of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah will lose many of their environmental protections, according to a final federal government management plan released Friday.

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Courtesy Rob Davidson, map provided by U.S. Forest Service

Red Grade Road starts a few miles southwest of the town of Big Horn and winds through the Bighorn Mountains.

Pilot Hill Project

Efforts to create a 5,500-acre state park on the mountainside outside of Laramie called Pilot Hill is moving forward. Albany County commissioners recently approved a contractor to develop a land-use plan. SE Group, will get paid $70,000 to seek public input and then plan out trailheads and trail systems for the park.

New legislation that aims to significantly increase renewable energy utility projects on public lands is receiving strong bipartisan support.

Members of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources were united in support of the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act.

The Trump Administration has selected a champion of private property rights and oil, gas and coal energy development to fill a top position at the Bureau of Land Management.

Across the Mountain West, the majority of our land mass is publicly owned. A new mapping project by Headwaters Economics provides county-level data that can help you understand what that means.

 


President Trump is touting his environmental achievements this week. But some environmental advocacy groups are not impressed. 

The Center for Western Priorities just released a new study that shows the administration has been almost unanimously approving de-regulatory policy changes requested or supported by mining and drilling groups. 

Cooper McKim

Several dogs pat happily through snow-packed grass on Red Canyon Ranch in central Wyoming. It's backed by rolling hills and grazing cows. Maggie Eshleman, a Nature Conservancy restoration scientists, jumps out of her truck. She's interested in Red Canyon because of something that happened here nearly 20 years ago.

The Mountain West is home to huge swaths of public land. A new web-based tool is now showing people exactly where that land is and which agency is managing it.

Top politicians are in Vail, Colorado, this week for the annual meeting of the Western Governors Association.

Protesters dressed as swamp creatures kayaked down a river while others marched along a bike path, past private tennis courts and swanky swimming pools outside the hotel where governors met with Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

“My shirt says keep your oily hands off of Colorado's public lands,” says Chelsea Stencel, who was among the protesters. “David Bernhardt, the ultimate swamp monster.”

U.S. Department of the Interior

The Bureau of Land Management's Casper Field Office will reanalyze a portion of its environmental assessment of the Sand Creek oil and gas project after challenges from two environmental groups. It agreed with the Western Watersheds Project (WWP) and Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) that additional analysis of greenhouse gas emissions was warranted

Public lands are a haven for target shooting throughout our region. However, many are leaving bullet casings and litter behind, and that's a problem.

Litter from so-called "trigger trash" is leading to lead contamination of soil and costing taxpayers thousand of dollars in cleanup.

Kurt Miers is with the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada. He says this issue is common throughout the region, particularly in areas just outside of cities.

The law that governs today’s hardrock mines on public lands in the West is nearly 150 years old. New legislation this week from House Democrats would enact significant reforms. 

Sheridan Community Land Trust

A proposal to expand the existing six miles of Red Grade trail system in the Bighorn National Forest in Sheridan County is open for public review.

No new oil and gas leases. No more shrinking monuments. Free entrance to national parks.

Colorado residents Rose Chilcoat and her husband, Mark Franklin, were leaving southeastern Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument after a camping trip in April 2017 when they were pulled over by three cowboys in a pickup truck.

An environmental group is launching a campaign to defend the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which has been a target for President Trump. The court hears some of the most important environmental and other cases in our region.

BLM

The Trump administration is reducing grazing fees on public lands again. The new rate is the lowest the federal law allows.

National Parks and public lands in the West are having trouble with cactus poachers. But some park rangers are fighting back by micro-chipping their cacti.

lwcfcoalition.com

This week the U.S. Senate passed a sweeping and historic bill that would make the Land and Water Conservation Fund permanent. A feat many hunters and fisherman, along with environmentalists, had thought was impossible after the GOP allowed it to lapse last year.

The 2019 State of the Rockies report says 70 percent of western voters identify as "outdoor enthusiasts." The annual bipartisan poll surveys how voters across the Mountain West feel about public lands, water, wildlife, and energy expansion. 

As one of his last acts in office, ousted Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed off on returning grazing rights to the eastern Oregon ranchers whose prison sentence led to a 2016 standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

 


Funding for one of the Mountain West's key environmental protection programs is on hold until after the holidays. 

Derived from Park County Road Plat, Park County Public Works Department

Sportsmen and women have to be really careful to make sure they are not trespassing on public land. A new report finds that Wyoming has the most landlocked public land in the West at 3.05 million acres. A recent decision by Park County Commissioners could have added another 160.

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