public lands

Screetshot of initial court document in a case that's been ongoing for four years
Court Listener

Last March, a federal court ordered the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management to provide better analysis of the climate impacts of oil and gas leasing on public land. After receiving that analysis, the judge rules it's not enough.

Vanessa Chavarriaga


Vanessa Chavarriaga loves to be outside, whether it's floating down a river in the desert or ice skating on a frozen alpine lake. And when she posts photos of her adventures, she includes information about where exactly she was.

Tim Lumley via Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

The Shoshone National Forest Travel Management plan is facing criticism just as the public comment period comes to a close.

Pilot Hill Project

A small portion of the Pilot Hill parcel is now open to the public. The parcel, located on the eastern edge of Laramie, is part of a collaborative effort to protect nearly 4,344 acres for nonmotorized recreation and wildlife habitat.

Pilot Hill Project

The Wyoming Board of Land Commissioners closed a land exchange on Friday that secures 4,343 acres of land for the Pilot Hill Project. The exchange has been in the works for more than two years and traded 11,668 acres of isolated state trust land for the area now in Pilot Hill.

Last week, the Bureau of Land Management held its first oil and gas lease sales in months, netting more than $8 million from drillers eyeing public lands primarily in New Mexico.


National parks in the Mountain West are seeing a surge in visitors. And while tourism can spell good news for struggling local economies, some are worried not only about spikes in COVID-19 cases but also added pressure on the landscape.

Sublette County

After a heated and lengthy meeting last Tuesday, the Sublette County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 against the construction of a luxury resort in the small ranching community of Bondurant. The resort would have required a change in local zoning rules, with 43 acres of agricultural land reclassified as recreational.

The Great American Outdoors Act has passed the Senate with solid bipartisan support – but bipartisan doesn’t mean unanimous. A group of 73 voted yes while 25 voted no, including all of the senators from public land-heavy Idaho, Wyoming and Utah.


barrasso.senate.gov

Wyoming's senators spent the week fighting a bill that would permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, along with funding a portion of the maintenance backlog at national parks across the nation.

A bill to permanently fund conservation efforts and reduce maintenance backlogs across public lands will soon be up for a vote in the U.S. Senate.

The Bureau of Land Management is charging back-due rent on renewable energy projects on public lands, as the Department of Interior simultaneously works to give oil and gas operators financial relief.

The Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages 18 million acres of public land in Wyoming. Out of that, close to 11 million acres are leased for oil and gas production.

Runner1928 via Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

A 4,350-acre parcel of land on the Wyoming-South Dakota border is now protected as state land. The property is in the western Black Hills and improves access to more than 8,000 acres of adjacent public land in the two states.

A National Wildlife Federation report published this week says new oil and gas leases on public lands could harm existing hunting economies in the West.


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.

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