Here’s how much Anadarko and Noble have invested in legislators and PR firms In recent years, major oil and gas companies have launched aggressive efforts in Colorado to sway public opinion on the impacts of drilling, elect sympathetic legislators, and defeat efforts to enact commonsense safeguards on oil and gas development. Two companies in particular, Anadarko […]

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Thursday, June 1st, 2017

This week Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is touring Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah, part of the Trump administration’s “review” of national monuments designated since 1996. It is widely expected this review and tour are precursors to eliminating or shrinking the national monument, which was established with support from an unprecedented coalition of Native […]

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Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

On Wednesday, President Trump traveled to the Department of the Interior, signing an executive order targeting our national monuments. The order will launch a review of national monuments designated in the last 21 years, a precursor to eliminating protections for some of our most spectacular lands. This is the beginning of an all-out assault on […]

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Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Massive outdoor industry trade show gets closer to leaving state in protest It’s no secret that Utah’s elected officials have led a sustained attack against national public lands. Now it seems that leading outdoor recreation companies, which depend on public lands for their business, have had enough. Governor Gary Herbert is seeking to quell a growing […]

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Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

We learned more about Congressman Ryan Zinke’s plans to run the Interior Department during his confirmation hearing Tuesday. The Montanan, who’s vying to run the department that oversees the management of national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands, professed his admiration for Theodore Roosevelt, whose legacy of conserving our national public lands lives on […]

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Thursday, January 19th, 2017

After more than 80 years of efforts to protect the Bears Ears region in southeastern Utah, President Obama recently designated the area as a national monument. Encompassing some 1.35 million acres of stunning redrock scenery, the Bears Ears National Monument is home to an astonishing number of archaeological sites, including ruins and rock art, that […]

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Monday, January 9th, 2017

By Jesse Prentice-Dunn This fall voters across the West not only cast their votes for president, they decided races for governor, senators and representatives. Public lands played a prominent role in a number of Western races, with candidates touting their commitment to protecting public lands and preserving access for hunting, fishing, and other forms of […]

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Thursday, November 17th, 2016

The Bundys and their followers don’t speak for the large majority of Westerners After last week’s surprise verdict in Oregon, Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, and their father Cliven remain behind bars and will stand trial next year for their role in the 2014 armed standoff with law enforcement in Nevada. But even from prison, the […]

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Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

“Vegetable and melon farm” outbidding competition for prime parcels near national parks Two weeks ago, the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) sold off nearly 400 acres of state-owned lands within the proposed Bears Ears National Monument. Situated along Comb Ridge, a striking fin of red rock full of Ancestral Puebloan ruins and rock […]

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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
Nevada's Rainbow Mountain Wilderness

Last night the University of Nevada-Las Vegas hosted the third and final presidential debate. While this showdown took place in the West, one issue that touches the lives of all Westerners was not discussed – public lands. The West is not just home to some of our most iconic places, such as the Grand Canyon […]

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Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Latest News

@WstrnPriorities on Twitter

1 day ago
Meet Todd Wynn, the new @Interior official who wants to give away America’s public lands. WstrnPriorities photo
1 day ago
Senators may use budget vote to advance efforts to open up Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.
WstrnPriorities photo
1 day ago
@nytopinion Efforts to open Arctic to drilling are "budget scam that puts the wildest place left in America at risk" WstrnPriorities photo


States step up to lead on conservation and public lands policy in the Trump era

At a time when Westerners are feeling less than confident about the federal government’s commitment to respecting and protecting our...

October 17th, 2017

Oh, the places Secretary Ryan Zinke will go (for political fundraisers and speeches)

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has been all over the news in recent weeks — and it hasn’t been the kind...

October 17th, 2017

Anti-park congressman introduces “No New Parks” bill

Congressman Bishop’s attack on the Antiquities Act is not a serious piece of legislation. It’s a manifesto put forward by...

October 10th, 2017