public lands

Ken Lund via CC BY-SA 2.0

In an unexpected move, Gov. Mark Gordon vetoed a bill that would have laid the groundwork for a major land and mineral rights deal between Wyoming and Occidental Petroleum.

A new government watchdog report published Wednesday says taxpayers are shouldering the burden of cleaning up the nation’s thousands of abandoned hardrock mines on public lands.

Tufts University

Federal lands are much better at reducing habitat loss and protecting endangered species than private lands, according to a new study out this week by researchers at Tufts University and the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife.

Online GIS Maps; Cooper McKim

Wyoming legislators are working through two bills that would lay the groundwork to study and potentially buy over a million acres of land and four million acres of mineral rights across the southern part of the state.

The 1,010,900 acres of land in question sits within six Wyoming counties: Lincoln, Uinta, Carbon, Albany, Laramie, and Sweetwater. Local officials are beginning to grapple with the potential risks and rewards of the deal.

Stephanie Joyce / Wyoming Public Radio

Both the Wyoming House and Senate began discussing the possible purchase of a million acres of surface land and four million acres of mineral rights. Legislative leaders said the goal is to establish ground rules that could make such a purchase possible. 

Bob Beck

Wyoming lawmakers continue working on a bill that would allow the state to look into purchasing a million acres of land in southern Wyoming.  

The swath of one million acres of land in southern Wyoming is currently owned by Occidental Petroleum and doesn't include any private or federal land.

Governor Mark Gordon announced this week that Wyoming is looking to buying a million acres of land across southern Wyoming and surrounding states along with 4 million acres of mineral rights.

halfuur / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

Park County will soon have a natural resources management plan for its federal and state lands, and is inviting the public to participate in a steering committee that will help shape the plan. 

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

The State of Wyoming is working on a massive land deal that would involve one million square acres across southern Wyoming.

Listen to this story here.

After congressional Democrats voted this week to give one of their own the power to subpoena the Trump administration, U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt dismissed the move as a “witch hunt.”

President Donald Trump unveiled his budget proposal Monday, and a significant cut to the Department of Interior is on the table.

The Trump administration wants to cut funding for all but one agency within the Interior, for a 16% overall reduction.

The nation’s largest known lithium deposit is here in the Mountain West. As demand for electric vehicles grows — and with it demand for lithium, used to make EV batteries — one company hopes to harvest the mineral from that deposit in Northern Nevada.

Public Lands in Wyoming
Bob Wick, BLM / Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is looking to open access on public lands for more recreation opportunities.

New legislation introduced in the U.S. House Thursday would make it easier for conservation groups to remove cattle and sheep from federal lands. 

Savannah Maher

Karen Zoller's two rescue dogs, Macy and Izza, love to run and explore. So, she takes them to public trails around Fremont County where she can let them off leash.

The Trump administration has spent the past month announcing sweeping changes that could benefit ranchers on public lands, including a proposal to overhaul grazing regulations for the first time in 25 years. 

After a long hiatus, a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s 2017 decision to rescind regulations on hydraulic fracturing on public lands is moving forward. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is scheduled to hear oral arguments in January after prominent conservation groups, including the Sierra Club, filed suit in 2018.

The U.S. military is asking Congress for control over more public land in Nevada, and much of that could come at the expense of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, the largest wildlife refuge outside of Alaska.

That has the state of Nevada, environmentalists and tribes all stepping up to condemn the proposal.

A new white paper from the non-profit Headwaters Economics says transferring public lands from the federal government to Western states would generate more revenue, but also comes with high economic costs.

Reintroduced legislation incentivizing more renewable energy projects on public lands is getting rare bipartisan support.

A government watchdog on Wednesday filed suit against the Bureau of Land Management to find out why it hired a one-time, anti-public lands advocate to run the agency. 

Bureau of Land Management


If you're anything like me, you've never been on an e-bike before. You might not even know what it looks like. That's why I make a visit to a local bike shop in downtown Laramie to find out what all the fuss is about. Electric bicycles, or e-bikes, as they're known, are having a moment. Right now they're the fastest growing segment of the country's bike market and that market could get even hotter now they're allowed on some public lands.

Reducing the number of wild horses and burros on Western public lands could take 15 years and cost $5 billion, the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management told reporters during a news conference this week. 

A new report from Congress’s watchdog says employees overseeing public lands are facing hundreds of threats and assaults.

 


As the Bureau of Land Management pilots a new livestock grazing initiative on public lands in six Western states, a conservation group is suing to get the agency to release more information about the program.

Bureau of Land Management

The Natural Resource Conservation Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is asking for grant proposals that aim to open up access to private land.

NPS / Neal Herbert

This Saturday, September 28, is National Public Lands Day. It's called the largest single-day volunteer effort for America's 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. 

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