Reports and Resources

Filter our content…

  • By Issue:

  • By Resource Type

  • By Subject:


The Road to 30

The Center for Western Priorities’ Road to 30 interactive digital report explores some — but certainly not all — of the methods of land conservation that will be integral to achieving the goal of protecting 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030. Along the way we explore some of the places that have already been protected, celebrating past conservation efforts and considering how to move forward to protect our lands, waters, wildlife, and the communities that rely on them.

Read More

Empty Enforcement

States play a critical role in protecting public health and the environment by inspecting oil and gas facilities, identifying violations, and, when appropriate, issuing financial penalties. However, the structure and success of oil and gas enforcement programs varies widely from state to state. CWP’s examination of Western state oil and gas enforcement finds that while some states have successful programs worth emulating, many have room to improve in order to adequately protect the health and safety of local communities and hold companies accountable.

Read More

America’s Public Lands Giveaway

The Wilderness Society and the Center for Western Priorities conducted a first-of-its-kind geospatial analysis to shine a light on the outdated leasing process. Using a newly developed tool, the analysis mapped all federal oil and gas leases, identifying instances where public lands leases were sold for bargain prices. Check out the interactive digital report.

Issue:
Read More

Mapping the legacy of drilling in a protected monument

According to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument contains 193 oil and gas wells and drilling sites. Many of these wells have been “abandoned” or “shut-in” and not properly reclaimed. As a result, the monument is littered with decaying oil and gas equipment that companies have failed to clean up.

Issue:
Read More

Cutting the Public Out of Public Lands

A new Center for Western Priorities analysis of millions of public comments submitted in response to 10 major Interior Department rule changes shows the extent to which the public has opposed policies proposed by the Trump administration. Although more than 95 percent of public comments opposed each of the proposed rule changes, Interior ultimately moved forward with 8 of the 10 proposals.

Read More

Lobbyists get bang for the bucks at Interior

An analysis of lobbying disclosure forms finds that, since David Bernhardt’s nomination to become Deputy Interior Secretary on April 28, 2017, 36 clients have paid Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck a total of $11.96 million to lobby the Interior Department, including 19 clients that hired the firm after Bernhardt’s nomination. Of those 36 clients, at least 24 have seen their projects or policies advanced in some way by the agency.

Read More

Funding America’s Public Lands Future

Traditionally, Congress has provided funding for managing our public lands, bolstered in part by revenue from extractive industries operating on our public lands and waters. Companies leasing public lands are required to pay royalties, rent, and other fees in exchange for extracting publicly-owned resources and using the public’s land. In recent years, funding to manage and conserve our public lands has not kept pace with what’s necessary to take care of the public’s resources. This report examines the state of conservation funding for our public lands and recommends options to boost funding in the years to come.

Read More

The Drilling and Mining Industry Wish List

The Center for Western Priorities finds the Trump administration granted the wishes of oil, gas, coal, and uranium companies at a breathtaking pace. The report identifies 53 specific policy actions within the jurisdiction of the Interior Department requested or supported by energy interests. Of the 53 energy industry asks reviewed, Trump’s Interior Department had already completed 36 of them at time of publication, with another 12 policy actions in process. Just five industry policy goals identified were not yet addressed during the Trump presidency.

Read More

Winning the West: Election 2018

The Center for Western Priorities Winning the West: Election 2018 report reveals the growing trend of winning candidates highlighting their support for public lands and outdoor issues in order to connect with Mountain West voters in 2018’s elections. Public lands—how they are used, their importance to local economies, and the way they define life in the West—were often featured as a distinguishing issue by winning campaigns.

Read More

Funding America’s Conservation Future

A new report by the Center for Western Priorities, Funding America’s Conservation Future, offers a data-driven analysis of the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s (LWCF) accomplishments and examines what is at stake if Congress fails to renew the critical land conservation program. The report, which identified and examined upwards of 800 LWCF projects proposed from 2014 through 2017, provides a unique look at the scope and scale of LWCF successes for communities and states across the nation.

Read More

License to Drill

In recent years it’s been virtually impossible for Coloradans to miss advertisements on the television, radio, and in newspapers touting the oil and gas industry’s commitment to safety and environmental responsibility. One company in particular, Anadarko Petroleum, has led the charge to frame the oil and gas industry as a good neighbor while defeating proposed safety measures. A review of Anadarko’s recent spending sheds light on how the oil and gas giant spent heavily on advertising, lobbying, and political races, while shirking inspections and safety checks on old wells, like the one linked to a fatal home explosion in Firestone, Colorado.

Read More

290 Million Reasons to Invest in America’s Public Lands

The Center for Western Priorities estimates that U.S. public lands on Western states see more than 290 million visits each year. It’s more than the amount of people who visited zoos and aquariums, watched the Super Bowl, or attended every NFL, NBA and MLB game combined last season. In a country with so many recreation, leisure, and entertainment options, our public lands take a backseat to none.

Read More

Reclaiming Oil and Gas Wells on Federal Lands: Estimate of Costs

This report estimates the costs of reclaiming oil and gas wells on U.S. public lands. The first-of-its-kind analysis, conducted by the economic consulting firm ECONorthwest, finds that reclaiming—plugging and cleaning up—all producible wells on federal lands could cost a potential $6.1 billion, far exceeding the $162 million in reclamation bonds that the Government Accountability Office last estimated had been provided by oil and gas operators.

Issue:
Read More

Not in Their Wildest Dreams

After taking office, the Trump administration moved aggressively to roll back existing common sense energy policies and enact an agenda written by the oil and gas industry. An analysis by the Center for Western Priorities finds the Trump administration and their allies in Congress acted on at least 22 policy changes supported by energy companies and associations as of December 2017. These include efforts to remove safeguards on drilling, shut out the public from decision making, and increase drilling inside of America’s parks and wildlife refuges.

Read More

Western States Conservation Scorecard

The Center for Western Priorities’ Western States Conservation Scorecard ranks state policies on public lands access, outdoor recreation, and responsible energy development in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. The goal of the scorecard is to illuminate best practices and gaps in state-level public lands-related policy in the West in an effort to highlight where Western states are demonstrating leadership and where they can improve.

Read More

Fire Lines: Comparing Wildfire Risk on State and U.S. Public Lands

Wildfire is an ever-present reality for many communities in the Western United States. Now, a first-of-its-kind analysis of wildfire data compares the risk of wildfire on U.S. public lands versus state-owned lands. Data show that the percent of U.S. public lands and state-owned lands at a high risk of wildfire are approximately equal, a finding in keeping with consensus among forestry experts that Western wildfires are driven primarily by natural factors and exacerbated by a warming climate.

Issue:
Read More

Winning the West: Election 2016

Mountain West states were a political force in the 2016 election, hosting a number of competitive statewide and congressional races. While energy development has long been a prominent topic in Western races, in this cycle the outdoor recreation economy and public lands conservation became wedge issues in a number of key contests.

Read More

The Wildfire Burden

Conservative politicians in Western states continue to promote efforts to dispose of U.S. public lands into state and private hands. But ever since this modern day version of the Sagebrush Rebellion appeared in the early 2010s, proponents of “transferring” public lands have failed to answer even the most basic question about their proposal: how will states afford to protect communities from wildfire that occurs naturally across the West? The Center for Western Priorities first analyzed this issue in 2014. This is an update to the original report, which finds that between 2009 and 2015 the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) alone has spent over $6 billion suppressing wildfire in Western states.

Issue:
Read More

Going to Extremes: The Anti-Government Extremism Behind the Growing Movement to Seize America’s Public Lands

The 2016 armed standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon provided the American public with a ringside seat to a disturbing trend on U.S. public lands: extremist and militia groups using America’s national forests, parks, monuments, and wildlife refuges to advance their anti-government beliefs. But these far right-wing organizations are not operating in a vacuum. To the contrary, the armed insurrection in Oregon and Nevada before—led by Ammon Bundy and the Bundy family—share the same foundations as land transfer schemes promoted by some elected leaders in states throughout the West.

Issue:
Read More

Busting the Myth of the Obama Administration’s “War on Oil”

Throughout President Obama’s time in office, oil and natural gas companies have been claiming to be the victims of a “war on oil” waged by the Obama administration, especially targeting oil and gas production from land and water that belongs to American taxpayers. New data from the Office of Natural Resources Revenue disproves the myth. Onshore oil production from U.S. public lands has risen steadily, even despite the recent collapse in global oil prices. In fact, oil production from public lands has increased each fiscal year in the past ten.

Issue:
Read More
Found 58 Items
Page 2 of 3