Public Lands

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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Public Lands Watch: House Joint Resolution 69

House passes resolution to nullify regulation restricting hunting on Alaska National Wildlife Refuges

Additional update: The President signed SJR 69. Update: The Senate just passed S.J.R. 69. The House voted last week to pass House Joint Resolution 69. The resolution disapproves of the Fish & Wildlife Service rule, “Non-Subsistence Take of Wildlife, and Public Participation and Closure Procedures on National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska,” which was finalized on […]

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Public Lands Watch: HJR 44

Resolution would eliminate updates to planning process for BLM lands

Final Update:  The President signed the resolution. Update #2:  It just passed the Senate 51-48. Update:  This is currently being considered in the Senate as Senate Joint Resolution 15. House Joint Resolution 44 – A proposal to overturn the BLM’s Planning 2.0 rule for preparing and amending resource management plans. Today the House passed HJR […]

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How States Can Defend Themselves Against Trump

States have a number of tools for protecting their own environments from the Feds.

Suppose the Trump Administration launches environmentally harmful projects in a state or wants to allow more pollution there than the state wants.  Does the state have any possible recourse? The answer is yes, although states’s defenses have their limitations.  There are a number of mechanisms states can use to defend their own environments, if not the […]

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Public Lands Watch: House Joint Resolution 36

A proposal to revoke an Obama Administration rule on methane flaring on public lands

Additional Update:  It is being considered in the Senate as Senate Joint Resolution 36. Update:  The resolution passed the House on the morning of Saturday, Feb 4.  It will next go to the Senate. House Joint Resolution 36 (now being considered as part of House Resolution 74) “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives […]

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Public Lands Watch: HR 5 and Land-Use Planning

Bill passed by house would increase burden on agency for land-use planning

HR 5 The Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) Passed House 1/11 Received in the Senate 1/12 Referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs This post was co-authored by law student Emma Hamilton. On January 11th, the House passed HR 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, which includes a provision mandating new […]

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Watching over our public lands

Keeping track of what is happening with our federal public lands

There is a lot of discussion about possible changes in environmental law post-election.  One area that has received some attention is public lands.  The federal government owns a little less than one-third of the lands of the United States – many of those lands are ecologically valuable, and are components of our priceless national park […]

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Bears Ears: A Monumental End to the Obama Era

Will the Antiquities Act survive the new administration?

With one week left in his second term, President Obama’s “monumental” legacy is again at the forefront. Just yesterday, the President expanded, by proclamation, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon and the California Coastal National Monument, and created three additional national monuments: the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and the Freedom Riders National Monument in […]

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The Perils of Inexperience

The Scott Pruitts of the Trump cabinet face some tricky challenges.

There’s even a name for it in sports: “rookie error.” That’s the kind of mistake that talented players make when they’ve been bumped up into the big time.The big issue for appointees like Pruitt is to avoid that kind of mistake — and in the meantime, to accomplish their agendas. By all accounts, Scott Pruitt […]

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