Public Lands

Look Out Below!

U.S. Supreme Court Signals Interest in Key Environmental Law/Federal Preemption Case From California

The U.S. Supreme Court today signaled that it is seriously considering whether to review an important environmental law case from California–one in which the California Supreme Court previously ruled that California’s ban on environmentally-damaging suction dredging in state rivers is not preempted by federal law. The case is People v. Rinehart, U.S. Supreme Court No. 16-970. […]

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New Article Provides In-Depth Analysis of Limits to Presidential Authority Under the Antiquities Act

Analysis By Faculty at UCLA, University of Colorado, and UC Berkeley Concludes that Congress Alone, and Not the President, May Eliminate or Shrink National Monuments

Mark Squillace of University of Colorado, Eric Biber of UC Berkeley, my UCLA colleague Nick Bryner, and I have co-authored a short academic article (accepted for publication at Virginia Law Review Online) about the President’s authority to abolish or shrink national monuments.  This article provides detailed historical research and analysis that underpins the op-ed we published in The Conversation […]

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Public Lands Watch: Comment Period on National Monuments

You can share your thoughts on Interior’s review of National Monuments

As we have noted in earlier posts, President Trump issued an executive order calling for the Interior Department to review a range of National Monuments created over the past 16 years through Presidential proclamations.  The Interior Department has recently announced a public comment period for that review.  If you are interested in sharing your comments […]

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Finally, some good news from Congress

The Senate voted 51-49 Wednesday morning against considering a resolution to repeal Obama-era regulations targeting methane emissions from oil and gas operations on federal lands. The Senate was considering whether to vote on rolling back the rule under the Congressional Review Act, which allows the Senate to repeal rules within 60 days of enactment. Three […]

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Politicians and Commentators Who Criticize Recent National Monuments Are Making Up Their Own Version of History

Republican Presidents from Teddy Roosevelt to Herbert Hoover Designated Millions of Acres Under the Antiquities Act

As several colleagues and I noted here recently, President Trump recently issued an executive order that will result in “review” of national monuments created since 1996.  (The Antiquities Act grants Presidents the authority to reserve federal lands as national monuments, protecting them from much new resource extraction and development that would otherwise potentially be available on those […]

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Public Lands Watch: Omnibus Appropriations

No significant new policy riders in the Omnibus Appropriations bill

Late last night, a bipartisan agreement was reached for funding the federal government through the rest of Fiscal Year 2017.  These omnibus appropriations bills often are a tool for inserting riders that impose significant restrictions on how agencies manage the public lands.  However, this year there are no new significant policy riders inserted in the […]

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National Monuments: Presidents Can Create Them, But Only Congress Can Undo Them

Authored by Nicholas Bryner, Eric Biber, Mark Squillace, and Sean B. Hecht

Bears Ears National Monument, Utah. Bob Wick, BLM/Flickr, CC BY This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. On April 26 President Trump issued an executive order calling for a review of national monuments designated under the Antiquities Act. This law authorizes presidents to set aside federal lands in order to […]

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This Wolf Came as Dressed as a Wolf

Trump’s views on energy & environment were clear before the election. He’s doing what he said.

In terms of energy and environmental issues, Trump has turned out to be as advertised. Last June, I did a post contrasting Clinton and Trump’s views about the environment. Below, I revisit the June post in order to compare what Trump said before Election Day and what he’s done since. In case you’ve forgotten, Clinton’s position […]

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National Monuments Under Trump

Does the Antiquities Act give the President the authority to revoke national monument designations?

Debate on the Antiquities Act continues in the early months of the Trump Administration. Opponents of Obama’s recently-proclaimed Bears Ears National Monument (see earlier post) have pushed for Trump to revoke or significantly alter the designation, fueling debate as to whether a president has the authority under the Antiquities Act to do so. By way […]

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Can California keep its federal lands public?

SB 50, introduced in State Senate, seeks to retain public ownership of federal lands in the state

There’s been a fair amount of national debate lately about whether federal public lands in the West should be transferred to state or private ownership. Rep. Chaffetz (R) from Utah had introduced a bill to transfer millions of acres of federal land in a range of Western states to private or state ownership – he […]

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