Newly obtained documents reveal the extent of the state's efforts to strip protections from federal lands around the United States.
Pacific Standard's Jimmy Tobias reports on new insights into the depth of Utah's "anti-public lands agenda."
A 2016 document recently obtained from Governor Herbert's Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office outlines 15 pages of "top objectives" for federal lands, primarily falling under one broad category: deregulation. That document was apparently part of a "master list" of similar objectives being compiled by a conservative think tank to influence policymakers, Tobias writes, noting the influence wielded by conservative Utahn lawmakers in the arena of federal land regulations.
"Utah Congressman Rob Bishop is chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, a position from which he regularly inveighs against conservation laws like the Endangered Species Act, the Antiquities Act, and the Wilderness Act. Then there's Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, who was a key player in convincing President Donald Trump to review and ultimately roll back some national monument designations in the American West. Utah's other senator, Mike Lee, is in the mix too. He recently likened federal lands to the "royal forests" of European kings and called for their effective abolition."
That influence is particularly important, Tobias stresses, because many of the proposals in the document look beyond state borders to impact federal lands across the entire country.
"Among other things, the document … proposes the rollback of a suite of land, wildlife, and climate protections, including the Obama administration's now-defunct moratorium on new federal land coal leasing. And it calls on Congress to amend laws like the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the National Environmental Policy Act to give states much greater control over federal land management."
Indiana Once Again Considering Ban on Dedicated Transit Lanes
The proposed legislation would impact the construction of planned IndyGo Blue Line, the third phase of the city’s bus rapid transit system.
4 Ways to Use AI in Urban Planning and City Design
With the ability to predict trends, engage citizens, enhance resource allocation, and guide decision-making, artificial intelligence has the potential to serve as planners’ very own multi-tool.
LA’s ‘Spongy’ Infrastructure Captured Almost 9 Billion Gallons of Water
The city is turning away from stormwater management practices that shuttle water to the ocean, building infrastructure that collects and directs it underground instead.
Hawai’i Transportation Projects Receive Federal Grants
State officials say they need around $15 billion to mitigate the impacts of rising seas.
Feds Announce Over $3 Billion in Homelessness Assistance Funding
The Continuum of Care grants are directed to programs that provide supportive services and boost housing stability.
AI’s Growing Threat to Climate Justice
Emerging technologies like AI have great promise for climate innovation, but also a hidden environmental footprint could lead to disproportionate harm to low-income and marginalized communities.
City of Grand Forks, North Dakota
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Harvard GSD Executive Education
City of Laramie, Wyoming
Colorado Department of Local Affairs
Lassen County Planning and Building Services
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.