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U.S. Supreme Court will hear Utah oil train NEPA case

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will review a lower court’s ruling that blocked the Uinta Basin Railway. Formally proposed in 2019, the Uinta Basin Railway is intended to connect oil fields in eastern Utah to the national rail system, enabling the oil to be transported to refineries. Currently, oil from this region is transported […]

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Montana approves state program’s first conservation leases

Last week, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved the state’s first leases under the state’s new Prairie Habitat Conservation Lease Program. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will lease more than 52,000 acres from private landowners across ten properties in eastern Montana. Under the leases, landowners will be required to commit to conserving high-priority prairie habitat while continuing with other uses including […]

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Two dozen federal agencies release climate plans through 2027

More than 20 federal agencies released their updated Climate Action Plans to prepare for future climate impacts by adopting adaptive and resilient strategies. The updated plans align with the National Climate Resilience Framework, which helps coordinate climate resilience investments across the public and private sectors. The plans include making federal buildings more resilient to climate change, protecting federal employees from […]

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Reporter Murphy Woodhouse on the future of wildfire season

Murphy Woodhouse covers wildfires and wildfire policy across the West, informed by his past experience as a wildland firefighter. In a wide-ranging discussion, Murphy talks about the bleak state of wildfire pay, the possibility of much of the West becoming uninsurable because of wildfire risk, and much more.

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Report finds industry-operated methane monitors miss most pollution events

A new report published by Earthworks and Oil Change International reveals that fossil fuel companies’ claims of reduced methane emissions rely on unreliable technology that regularly fails to detect pollution events. The Certified Gaslighting report found that methane emissions monitors operated by third-party gas certification companies only picked up one of the 23 pollution events detected by Earthworks, and “continuous” emissions […]

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2024 State Legislative Debrief: Colorado

Colorado’s state legislature meets annually for sessions not to exceed 120 days, during which any topics may be covered. Giving Utah legislators a run for their money, in the 2024 session Colorado’s legislators introduced a total of 705 bills; of those, 525 passed both chambers, and Governor Jared Polis vetoed only six bills. Unlike Utah, […]

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Community supports Chuckwalla National Monument at Interior Department meeting

Department of the Interior officials attended a community meeting Friday to gather feedback on the proposal to designate Chuckwalla National Monument, signaling that the administration is interested in moving forward with a monument designation. Attendees included BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning and Acting Deputy Interior Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis. An estimated 700 people attended the meeting, and […]

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Dolores monument support grows despite name-calling, misinformation campaign

A proposal to designate the Dolores River canyonlands as a national monument would protect one of Colorado’s largest, most biodiverse swaths of unprotected public land. The proposal to designate 400,000 acres of federal land along the river as a national monument would protect the landscape from new mining and development and provide better management tools for increased […]

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The West has an affordable housing crisis. Can public land help?

From Senator Mike Lee of Utah to Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo, Western politicians are calling on the federal government to sell off public lands to developers. They say there’s a housing shortage in the West, but the solutions they’re calling for don’t address the real issue: affordability. This affordable housing crisis is real and is caused by a variety […]

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Radiation compensation act expires as interest in uranium mining surges

85-year-old Jim Fisher has a lung illness thanks to his years underground mining uranium in Utah. He’s one of thousands of workers who mined, milled, or transported uranium during the Cold War. The U.S. has paid out more than $2.6 billion in compensation to these former workers, as well as those exposed to radiation from nuclear weapons testing, thanks to the […]

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New Mexico judge clears way for landmark oil and gas pollution lawsuit

A historic lawsuit in New Mexico will move forward after a judge denied the state’s request it be dismissed. The lawsuit centers on the state’s responsibility to protect its residents from the effects of pollution.  Plaintiff Mario Atencio, who grew up in rural New Mexico, is suing the state over its failure to protect residents from the impacts that fossil fuel […]

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Extreme politicians are trying to erase America’s national parks and monuments

A new report from the Center for American Progress identifies the members of Congress working to dismantle protections for America’s most beloved public lands. The congressional antiparks caucus is a group of 28 extreme members of Congress who have introduced more than one and/or co-sponsored three or more antiparks bills and/or signed onto a legal amicus brief that attempts to […]

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Senator Bennet visits proposed Dolores Canyons National Monument

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado visited the proposed Dolores Canyons National Monument in southwest Colorado over the weekend. The senator met with stakeholders, Tribes, and the general public, and participated in other activities to learn more about the region, which is the largest and most biodiverse stretch of unprotected public land in Colorado. Bennet heard from monument proponents and opponents at a […]

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President Biden is within reach of setting a conservation record

With the recent expansions of Berryessa Snow Mountain and San Gabriel Mountains national monuments, President Joe Biden is now just 95,500 acres from protecting the most public land using the Antiquities Act of any recent president in their first term. President Biden has now designated five new national monuments and expanded two, protecting over 1.6 million acres of […]

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The proposal to protect the Mimbres Peaks in southern New Mexico

On the latest episode of the Center for Western Priorities’ podcast, The Landscape, Kate and Aaron talk to Ray and BJ Trejo, a father and son who are helping lead the effort to protect the Mimbres Peaks in southern New Mexico. The Mimbres Peaks National Monument proposal would add protections for lands overseen by the Bureau of Land Management […]

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President Biden is less than 100,000 acres away from setting a conservation record

With the recent expansions of Berryessa Snow Mountain and San Gabriel Mountains national monuments, President Joe Biden is now just 95,500 acres from protecting the most public land using the Antiquities Act of any recent president in their first term. President Biden has now designated five new national monuments and expanded two, protecting over 1.6 […]

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Protecting the Mimbres Peaks in Southern New Mexico

The proposed Mimbres Peaks National Monument would add protections for lands overseen by the Bureau of Land Management in Luna County, New Mexico near the city of Deming. The collaborative effort is locally-led by elected leaders, business owners, economic development advocates, hunters, youth leaders, conservationists, and students. The proposal would protect approximately 245,000 acres in […]

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Pressure builds for Tribal management of Bears Ears National Monument

Native Americans and conservation advocates are urging the Biden administration to adopt a management plan for Bears Ears National Monument that emphasizes Tribal management. The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition includes leaders of the Navajo Nation, Ute Indian Tribe, Zuni Tribe, Hopi Tribe, and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. The coalition has teamed up with outdoor retailer Patagonia to press […]

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Secretary Haaland designates four new national recreation trails

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland celebrated Great Outdoors Month and National Trails Day on June 1st by designating four new national recreation trails in four different states, adding over 33 miles to the National Trails System. The trails span public and private lands in Oregon, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia and can be used for hiking, biking, […]

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BLM, Wintun Nations sign co-stewardship agreement for Molok Luyuk

Last week, members of the Yocha Dehe and Kletsel Dehe Tribes signed a historic co-stewardship agreement with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at an event celebrating the recent expansion of California’s Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. “We are profoundly grateful for this commitment to protect Tribal cultural resources and the environment,” Yocha Dehe Tribal Chairman Anthony Roberts said. […]

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