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What the ban on Russian uranium means for the West

After President Biden signed a law banning imports of Russian uranium earlier this month, foreign-owned mining companies hoped the law would jump start the long-dormant uranium mining industry in the U.S. But as Center for Western Priorities Policy Director Rachael Hamby explains in a new Westwise blog post, the mining industry is conflating the need […]

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Why the Russian uranium ban won’t —and shouldn’t —lead to more uranium mining in the U.S.

Uranium mining and milling has been dormant in the United States for decades, but after years of aggressive advocacy, mining companies are hoping that will change with recent congressional actions to prop up the domestic uranium industry. In May 2024, President Joe Biden signed the Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act, which bans the import of […]

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Oregon voters back Owyhee Canyonlands monument proposal

A new poll finds a strong majority of Oregon voters support President Biden protecting the Owyhee Canyonlands region as a national monument. The Expedition Strategies poll of 800 Oregon voters found that 73 percent support the national monument proposal, including 95 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of independents, and 40 percent of Republicans. The pollsters […]

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10 million acres protected as new sentinel landscapes

On Thursday, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced five new sentinel landscapes in New Mexico, Utah, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and California. Sentinel landscapes are a unique form of landscape conservation that protects natural resources, strengthens military readiness, and enhances resilience to climate change. Part of the Sentinel Landscapes Partnership, these designations represent a collaboration among DOD and the departments of […]

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A huge step forward for public lands in Alaska

Aaron and Kate are joined by Kristen Miller, Executive Director of the Alaska Wilderness League, to talk about some big steps to protect public lands in Alaska made by the Biden administration this spring. They include increased protections for 13 million acres inside the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, as well as the cancellation of a proposed 200-mile […]

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Biden admin directs $240 million to fish passage projects

On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced $240 million for new fish passage projects across America. The funding will go toward a variety of fish passage types, including dam removal, fish ladders, culvert improvements, and in-stream fish passage improvements. Nearly half the projects will be led by Tribes and Tribal organizations, and funding will support Tribes in their work to […]

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Biden admin directs $240 million to fish passage projects

On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced $240 million for new fish passage projects across America. The funding will go toward a variety of fish passage types, including dam removal, fish ladders, culvert improvements, and in-stream fish passage improvements. Nearly half the projects will be led by Tribes and Tribal organizations, and funding will support Tribes in their work to […]

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Big Oil is failing to curb emissions, report finds

The eight largest U.S.- and Europe-based oil and gas producers are failing to meet standards that would help keep global temperatures from rising to detrimental levels, according to a new report from research group Oil Change International. The report, Big Oil Reality Check, explains that companies’ current extraction plans could lead to more than 2.4 degrees Celsius of global […]

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Haaland visits proposed national monument in California

Over the weekend, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument in Southern California. If designated as a national monument, the 600,000-acre landscape would protect rich biodiversity and connect a historically important travel route for Indigenous peoples. The proposed national monument is supported by numerous entities, including conservation groups, community members, and local Tribes who have […]

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California’s first Black land conservancy is rewriting history of environmental injustice

California land trust 40 Acre Conservation League recently acquired 650 acres of a former logging forest in the northern part of the state. Its goal is not only to conserve the land, but also provide equitable outdoor opportunities for communities of color. 40 Acre Conservation League is California’s first Black-led land conservancy. Co-founder Jade Stevens is determined to use […]

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BLM plans to end future coal leasing in Powder River Basin

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released draft resource management plans (RMPs) for two field offices in Wyoming and Montana. The plans would block any future coal lease sales across the Buffalo and Miles City field offices, while allowing existing coal mining to continue. The BLM estimates that federal coal mining in Wyoming would continue through 2041, and through 2060 […]

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Statement on Biden administration plan to stop future coal leasing in Powder River Basin

DENVER—The Bureau of Land Management today released draft resource management plans (RMPs) for two field offices in Wyoming and Montana. The plans would block any future coal lease sales across the Buffalo and Miles City field offices, while allowing existing coal mining to continue. The BLM estimates that federal coal mining in Wyoming would continue through 2041, and through […]

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New rule aims to speed transmission build-out

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has released a final rule updating planning and funding requirements for the nation’s electric grid. Owners of transmission facilities and infrastructure will now be required to plan 20 years ahead, consider a broader set of benefits, and take into account factors including anticipated changes to the mix of energy sources, renewable energy requirements […]

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Review begins for first ‘FAST-41’ critical minerals project in Arizona

The U.S. Forest Service has begun accepting public comments on the South32 Hermosa project in southern Arizona. The proposed mine, if approved, will produce manganese, zinc, silver, and lead—all important to batteries and other renewable energy technologies. In particular, manganese and zinc are included on the U.S. Geological Survey’s 2022 list of ‘critical minerals,’ a list USGS is required to update […]

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Transcript: Behind the scenes of the Bears Ears draft management plan

This is an automatically-generated transcript. Please excuse grammatical and spelling errors.  Aaron    00:00:07    Welcome to the Landscape, your show about America’s parks and public lands. I’m Aaron Weiss with the Center for Western Priorities, usually based in Denver, but coming to you today from the National Mall in Washington, DC actually inside the […]

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Behind the scenes of the Bears Ears draft management plan

Aaron and Kate are joined by Davina Smith, who represents the Navajo Nation on the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, and Lauren Henson, who is the Collaborative Management and Tribal Support Specialist for the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, to talk about the Bears Ears draft monument management plan, which came out in March. We talk about […]

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Colorado restores protections for wetlands in response to Supreme Court decision

Lawmakers in Colorado have agreed on measures to protect thousands of acres of wetlands and miles of streams, left unprotected by a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year. In the Sackett case, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that federally protected wetlands must be directly adjacent to a “relatively permanent” waterway “connected to traditional interstate navigable waters,” such as a river or […]

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Drilling-related spills up in Wyoming, down in New Mexico and Colorado in 2023

The rate of spills in all states has gone down over time, proving strong regulations don’t impede production DENVER—Across the West, spills from oil and gas extraction take a toll on lands, waters, wildlife, and communities. In Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming—the Mountain West’s top oil and gas-producing states—companies report thousands of spills each year, which […]

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Navajo activist fights toxic waste well near Chaco Canyon

Mario Atencio is no stranger to fighting oil and gas development. He’s an organizer for the Greater Chaco Coalition, which campaigns to end new oil and gas drilling near Chaco Canyon. Now, he’s fighting to stop an oil company from injecting toxic drilling water into a well within half a mile of his father’s house. The well sits on a square mile […]

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Lawmakers request probe of foreign mining on public lands

Democrats in the House are asking the Government Accountability Office to investigate foreign-owned companies that mine on U.S. public lands. They’re asking the GAO to look into the extent to which these companies are extracting minerals from public lands, and whether those entities are complying with U.S. environmental and human rights standards. The GAO has previously reported that there are over 700 […]

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