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Yurok Tribe becomes the first to manage land with National Park Service

California’s Yurok Tribe will be the first Native people to manage Tribal land with the National Park Service under a historic memorandum of understanding. Starting in 2026, the Tribe will have ownership of 125 acres that will serve as a new gateway to Redwood National and State Parks. The land, called ’O Rew in the Yurok language, […]

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California’s Chuckwalla National Monument proposal

The Center for Western Priorities is excited to share the ninth film in our Road to 30: Postcards campaign featuring the Chuckwalla National Monument proposal in Southern California’s Eastern Coachella Valley.  The proposed Chuckwalla National Monument would protect approximately 660,000 acres just south of Joshua Tree National Park. The proposal is named for the chuckwalla lizard, one of the species […]

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Congress to consider anti-public lands legislation

Congress to consider anti-public lands legislation Wednesday, March 20, 2024 Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument. Jim Dublinski/Grand Canyon Trust The House of Representatives is scheduled to consider several bills this week that would prevent the protection of public lands and undermine progress on oil and gas reform. These bills […]

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What is happening with oil and gas leasing on Nevada’s public lands?

Oil and gas companies continue to lease public lands in Nevada even when the land is unlikely to produce oil. Between 2010-2019, Nevada accounted for less than 1 percent of the total oil produced on U.S. federal lands. “Listening to some, you may think that oil or natural gas is under every piece of public land and is just […]

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Why fossil fuel subsidies seem impossible to kill

Last year, the United States was one of 200 countries to sign an accord at the United Nations COP28 climate summit to eliminate subsidies for coal, oil, and gas. Yet for the fourth year in a row, Congress will likely reject President Joe Biden’s proposal to eliminate federal tax breaks for coal and oil and gas companies. The latest request calls for eliminating $35 […]

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BLM unveils updated sage-grouse management plan

The Bureau of Land Management released its draft Sage-grouse Resource Management Plan in which the agency’s “preferred alternative” will restore some restrictions on drilling and other activities across the nearly 67 million acres of the birds’ remaining habitat across ten Western states. Center for Western Priorities Deputy Director Aaron Weiss praised the BLM’s new sage-grouse management plan, saying, “The sage-grouse is […]

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Wyoming bucks industry pressure, protects pronghorn migration route

Five years after state officials hit the brakes on designating the Sublette Pronghorn Herd migration path, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has reversed course. In a unanimous 7-0 vote, the commission opted to pursue establishing protections for a migratory pronghorn population that biologists say is at “high risk” of being lost. Jill Randall, the Wyoming […]

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Statement on Bureau of Land Management’s new sage-grouse plan

DENVER—The Bureau of Land Management today released its draft Sage-grouse Resource Management Plan, nearing completion of a nearly decade-long process that started with the Obama administration’s 2015 sage-grouse plan, which was gutted by the Trump administration. The Trump administration’s attempts to remove protections for the imperiled bird were rejected by the courts in a legal battle that continued into 2023. […]

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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service creates four million acre Florida conservation area

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced the creation of the Everglades to Gulf Conservation Area, a four million-acre conservation area that extends across twelve counties in western Florida. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland made the announcement on Monday at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida during a celebration commemorating the 121st anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a collection of […]

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Transcript: Will lithium mining dry up the West?

This is an automatically generated transcript. Please forgive any spelling or grammatical errors.  Aaron: Hey, there it is, the landscape, your show about America’s parks and public lands. I’m Aaron Weiss with the Center for Western Priorities, waiting for our inevitable March snowstorm to roll in here in Denver. Kate: And I’m Kate Groetzinger in […]

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Will lithium mining dry up the West?

Kate and Aaron are joined by three members of the reporting team behind, Lithium Liabilities, a groundbreaking investigation into how lithium mining could affect the West’s water supply. Emma Peterson, Morgan Casey, and Lauren Mucciolo are part of a large team of editors, photographers, and reporters who worked on the investigation at the Howard Center […]

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2024 State Legislative Debrief: New Mexico

About the session New Mexico’s state legislature alternates between 60-day sessions in odd years, during which any topics can be considered, and 30-day sessions in even years, during which only bills related to the state budget or topics on the governor’s legislative agenda may be considered. Of 658 bills that were introduced in the 2024 30-day […]

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Biden’s budget blueprint prioritizes climate and renewable energy

The Biden administration on Monday unveiled a $7.3 trillion Fiscal Year 2025 budget proposal to fund the federal government. While the proposal is not expected to be enacted as written, it highlights the Biden administration’s policy priorities for the final year of his first term. In particular, the spending proposal requests a boost in funding for the […]

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Tribes, federal agencies release historic plan for co-managing Bears Ears

The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service released a draft management plan for Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah in collaboration with five sovereign Tribal nations with historic and cultural ties to the region. Curtis Yanito, Navajo Nation Council member and Bears Ears commissioner, said in a statement, “The draft resource management plan represents the culmination […]

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STATEMENT on proposed Bears Ears National Monument management plan

Denver—The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service released a series of potential management plans for Bears Ears National Monument on Friday, March 8. The Bears Ears Commission, Forest Service, and BLM worked together to develop a draft resource management plan (Alternative E) that incorporates traditional Indigenous knowledge, while balancing public access and […]

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Biden touts climate investments in State of the Union

In the State of the Union address, President Joe Biden highlighted investments in efforts to confront climate change and transition to clean energy. Though he did not mention the law by name, Biden focused in particular on funding from the Inflation Reduction Act for renewable energy and the jobs created by that spending. Biden chided lawmakers who voted […]

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Orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells threaten cultural resources in the Southwest

A new report from Archaeology Southwest explores the impacts of orphaned and abandoned oil and gas wells and other infrastructure on sacred and cultural sites across the Southwest. In New Mexico, more than 2,000 abandoned wells have been identified, and 200 of those abandoned wells are within ten miles of Chaco Culture National Historic Park and Aztec Ruins […]

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The state of America’s public lands in 2024, by the numbers

On Thursday, President Joe Biden will deliver the final State of the Union address of his first term. America’s public lands are in far better shape now than when President Biden took office, and the president has a lot to brag about. So far, President Biden has designated five new national monuments using his authority under the Antiquities […]

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The state of America’s public lands in 2024, by the numbers

When it comes to public lands, President Biden has a lot to brag about during his State of the Union address. But it’s been more than 200 days since he’s protected a new national monument. When President Joe Biden delivers the final State of the Union address of his first term on Thursday, he’ll be […]

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Fact vs. fiction: Dolores Canyons National Monument

The Dolores River Canyon in southwestern Colorado contains significant historical and Indigenous cultural sites, spectacular geological formations, world-class recreation opportunities, and incredible biodiversity, all in the largest stretch of unprotected public lands in Colorado. A presidential monument designation—which 92 percent of respondents said they support in a Colorado College poll released last month—would help protect this canyon from industrial and extractive development, while increasing economic […]

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