Public Lands

Solar panel array with Mojave Desert mountains in background.

Western Solar Plan Charts Course for Development on Public Lands

The BLM’s proposed maps could open up as much as 55 million acres to solar installations.

April 11, 2024 - High Country News

Stone hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah at golden hour.

How the Great American Outdoors Act Improved Public Lands

The 2020 federal law has helped fund park maintenance projects and improve access to public lands.

February 15, 2024 - High Country News

Aerial view of Salt Lake City, Utah with capitol dome in foreground again sunset sky.

Utah Lawmakers Call for Housing on Public Lands

State lawmakers spoke out in support of a proposed federal bill that would permit housing development on federal lands.

February 11, 2024 - The Salt Lake Tribune

Several visitors walk around the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, which is surrounded by cherry blossom trees in bloom with pale pink flowers.

9 Public Land Destinations to Visit This Black History Month

These national monuments, parks, and sites honor and preserve Black history in America.

February 7, 2024 - Sierra

Close-up of desert tortoise in Nevada desert.

BLM Allocates Funding to Study Renewables Impact on Public Lands

The large-scale study will assess how proposed solar farms and other renewable energy projects could impact animals, plants, and habitats.

January 1, 2024 - KLAS

Hiawatha National Forest sign near Brevort, Michigan.

Carbon Capture Plan Draws Conservationist Concerns

The Forest Service says storing carbon dioxide under national forest lands is essential to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting climate goals.

December 18, 2023 - Grist

Rainbow over red rocks and river in Utah's Labyrinth Canyon.

BLM Releases New Plan for Moab Area

The plan limits motorized recreation to protect natural and cultural resources.

October 6, 2023 - High Country News

"Radiation Zone, Keep Out" sign on wood post with red Arizona desert mesa in background

Grand Canyon Area Could Gain New National Monument

The Biden administration has signaled support for a proposed national monument that would protect Native American lands around the Grand Canyon from uranium mining.

August 7, 2023 - The Washington Post

Oil drilling pumps on a wetland beach in California with houses in background

Proposed Regulatory Changes Would Raise the Cost of Oil Drilling on Public Land

The new rules would raise more money for cleanup operations and bring more revenue to oil-producing states, but are a far cry from fulfilling President Biden’s promise to end extraction on public lands.

July 24, 2023 - High Country News

Blackfoot memorial statue in Glacier National Park of Native American sitting on horse

Public Lands in the United States, Part Two: The Conservation Turn and ‘America’s Best Idea’

As Western expansion reached its geographic terminus, the U.S. government began tightening rules around land use and designating protected areas such as national parks and wilderness areas, often displacing local Native Americans in favor of a Wester

July 17, 2023 - Diana Ionescu

Fly fisherman standing in small creek in Colorado surrounded by trees

Colorado Supreme Court Denies Access to Riverbeds

The state doesn’t seem ready to reverse its famously restrictive aquatic access policies anytime soon.

June 19, 2023 - High Country News

View from lakeside with green grass and pink blooming flowers

Who Benefits Most from Land Conservation Efforts?

A new study estimates that recent land conservation generated $9.8 billion in wealth nationally through the housing market and that wealthier and White households benefited disproportionately.

June 6, 2023 - PNAS

Looking up at giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park at sunrise with sun's rays coming through trees

Public Lands in the United States, Part One: “Redeemed From Wilderness”

This is part one in a blog series examining the history of public lands in the United States and their shifting role in the American psyche.

May 31, 2023 - Diana Ionescu

Herd of bison grazing in green field with snow-capped Wyoming mountains in background

Public Lands Rule Would Center Conservation

After decades of protecting extractive interests, federal law could reverse course and put conservation on par with other uses.

April 16, 2023 - High Country News

A view of the Pacific Ocean and California coastline from high in the Santa Monica Mountains.

California's Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Projects to Restore and Protect Habitats

The Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) just approved approximately $51.83 million in grants to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California.

February 20, 2023 - California Department of Fish and Wildlife

A small dam located in a rural location.

The Year in Public Lands

Public policy decisions that will impact land and water conservation in the American West.

December 27, 2022 - High Country News

View of park ranger with tan hat from behind, ranger looking out at Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Western Voters: Yes to Conservation, No to Extremism

Voters in Western states generally favored candidates who support public land conservation in this November’s election and rejected extremist rhetoric.

November 29, 2022 - High Country News

Rolling green hills in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles

New Parks Needs Assessment Standards in L.A. County

The report contains data and analyses in support of expanding land conservation and restoration, transit to parks, and other strategies to meet regional and rural needs in Los Angeles County.

September 19, 2022 - National Recreation and Park Association Open Space Blog

Open Space

Assessing Biden's '30 by 30' Conservation Plan

The president's ambitious commitment to protect 30% of U.S. land and water by 2030 might be too broad in attempting to satisfy all land users.

July 9, 2021 - High Country News

Traffic on road at Midway Geyser Basin

Parks Overwhelmed by Record Numbers of Visitors

Already understaffed and underfunded, the agencies that manage state and national parks are struggling to keep up with the spike in demand for outdoor recreation over the past year.

July 4, 2021 - High Country News

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