Topic: Public Lands & Resources

The 97,880-acre Eagletail Mountains Wilderness is about 65 miles west of Phoenix, Arizona, in Maricopa, Yuma, and LaPaz counties. It's managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

How Imperiled Are America's Public Lands?

The Trump administration's latest pick to manage nearly a quarter-billion acres of public land doesn't think the government should own land. But can he do anything about it?

Firefighters battle the Medocino Complex Fire on August 7th, 2018, near Lodoga, California.

Why Is the U.S. Facing a Federal Firefighter Shortage?

The shortage is part of an ongoing dilemma as the government struggles to budget and plan for longer, more severe fire seasons.

A view of the toxic Berkeley Pit on July 6th, 2017, in Butte, Montana. Formerly an open pit copper mine, the Berkeley Pit is part of the largest Superfund site in the United States.

The EPA Won't Have to Hold Mining Companies Responsible for Clean-Up Costs, a Federal Court Rules

The agency claims modern mining practices have reduced the risk of pollution going unaddressed. Will taxpayers still have to pay a price?

Carrizo Plain National Monument in California is run by the Bureau of Land Management.

The Wilderness Society Pressures the Trump Administration to Measure the Climate Impacts From Oil and Gas Leasing

The environmental non-profit estimates that recent federal oil and gas leases will produce more greenhouse gas emissions than the European Union emits in a year.

Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area spans 210,000 acres south of Grand Junction, Colorado.

Plans to Move the Bureau of Land Management Headquarters West Raise Questions

Critics of the move say it's a way to weaken the agency and eliminate senior officials and scientists who don't want to relocate.

Douglas Domenech.

A Top DOI Official Allegedly Violated Federal Ethics Rules. New FOIA Documents Shed Light on His Apparent Misdeeds.

Douglas Domenech's communications with his former employer, the Koch-backed Texas Public Policy Foundation, are more extensive than previously known.

Donald Trump at a rally in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Can Grand Junction Save Itself by Becoming the Next Home for the Bureau of Land Management?

As talk of relocating federal agencies to the areas they most directly serve has gained steam, a Colorado town is making a push to house the Department of the Interior's BLM.

An aerial view of President Donald Trump's border wall prototypes as seen from Tijuana, Mexico, on January 7th, 2019.

The Trump Administration Waives Environmental Regulations (Again) for Border Wall Construction

The Department of Homeland Security is bypassing dozens of laws to speed up the construction of several miles of fencing in Texas.

A young gray fox takes cover on the side of the road during 108-degree heat as the Carr fire rages on in California on July 27th, 2018. Wildlife Services killed 1,784 gray foxes that same year.

The Government Agency in Charge of Killing Wild Animals Is Facing Backlash

Oregon has banned Wildlife Services' use of cyanide bombs, and some California counties have severed their contracts with the agency.

Upper Ouzel Creek in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Unhealthy Air and Hazy Skies: How Pollution Is Affecting National Parks

The National Parks Conservation Association's new report recommends mitigating pollution and transitioning to clean energy, with an emphasis on fair solutions.

Cement Creek meets the Animas River in Silverton, Colorado.

What One Town in Colorado Can Teach the West About Water Conservation

Westminster, Colorado's focus on taming water demand has become a regional model for managing growth without straining resources.

Mud is seen on land that was under the Salton Sea a few years ago on January 1st, 2019, near Calipatria, California.

Trump Just Signed a New Plan for the Colorado River. There's Already a Lawsuit to Halt It.

The Imperial Irrigation District in California has sued to halt the plan, arguing that it wrongly ignores the Salton Sea.

A view from the north of the Valley of the Gods, one of the areas excised from Bears Ears National Monument by President Donald Trump's December 4th, 2017, proclamation.

Elizabeth Warren's Plan to Protect Public Lands Highlights Environmental Justice Issues

Warren's plan includes ending fossil fuel drilling on public lands, eliminating entrance fees for national parks, and mandating spending for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

oil-pipeline

President Trump Signs Two Executive Orders to Speed Approval of Fossil Fuel Projects

In two new executive orders, Trump seeks to expand executive power over pipelines and make it harder for states to block oil and gas projects.

A desert smoke tree is illuminated by half-moon light in the Trilobite Wilderness region of Mojave Trails National Monument near Essex, California.

How the Trump Administration Is Undermining Nationally Coordinated Conservation Efforts

The administration's latest target: research centers known as Landscape Conservation Cooperatives.

Plastic bottles and general rubbish washed up by the sea litter a beach.

Can a Hashtag Inspire People to Keep Their Communities Clean?

The #trashtag challenge inspired people to clean up beaches, parks, rivers, or just random trash strewn on the street.

The greater sage grouse.

Compromise With the Oil and Gas Industry Made the Sage Grouse Vulnerable to Extinction

Rather than list the bird as an endangered species, the Obama administration struck a compromise deal with energy companies—and now Trump is undoing it.

Drinking fountain

How Well Do States Keep Lead Out of School Drinking Water?

Last year, a government watchdog report found that about 13 million American children went to schools where officials discovered lead in their drinking water. Now, advocacy groups have graded states' school water policies.

Lower Boulder Lake Dam on August 13th, 2014.

Traveling the Green River to Understand the Future of Water in the West

Fights over the Colorado River's most significant tributary are longstanding, intractable, and only getting worse.

Flooding in Nebraska, March of 2019.

The Damage From Flooding in the Midwest Is Still Mounting

As this water emergency quickly becomes a public-health crisis, here's what officials are reporting.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil's Bolsonaro Government Wants to Circumvent the Constitution to Allow Mining on Indigenous Lands

The Brazilian minister of mines and energy stated that Brazil would open its indigenous territories to mining interests without the consent of the affected population.

Plumbing technician Todd Snider tests the flow of water after installing an aerator at a home on February 5th, 2014, in Novato, California. Many Californians have installed water-saving devices in their homes like low-flow toilets, shower heads, and aerators.

California's Drought Is Over. What Will That Mean for Water Use?

California's water conservation has seen ups and downs in recent years. Here's what the data shows.

Sandstone formations are shown here in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument on May 10th, 2017, outside Boulder, Utah. After close consultation with conservative ideological groups, Ryan Zinke's Department of the Interior drastically reduced the size of Grand Staircase-Escalante.

Stories You Might Have Missed This Week

The Trump administration pushed to excise coal deposits from a Utah monument, New York lawmakers want to help minors get vaccinated, and a Navy ship is quarantined at sea.