Public Lands

Public Lands Watch: Proposed repeal of BLM fracking rule

BLM Proposes to Rescind 2015 Rule on Hydraulic Fracturing

On July 25, 2017 the Bureau of Land Management published in the Federal Register a proposed rule that would rescind the Obama Administration’s 2015 Rule titled “Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands.” This proposal has been anticipated since the Interior Department announced in March earlier this year that the Department intended […]

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Public Lands Watch: HR 218

Bill would authorize road through wilderness in Alaska national wildlife refuge

On July 20th the House passed H.R. 218 (248-179). The bill was then sent to the Senate where it was referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The King Cove Road Land Exchange Act would transfer 206 acres of federal land—including 131 acres in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge—to the state of Alaska […]

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Public Lands Watch: HR 2936

Resilient Federal Forests Act would reduce or eliminate environmental protections for logging projects on National Forests

The House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 2936, the “Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017,” out of committee on June 27th and the bill is now waiting in the House for debate. The bill would expedite National Environment Policy Act (NEPA) review for U.S. Forest Service projects in order to improve forest management on federal […]

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Law professor comments on national monuments review

Leading natural resource and environmental law professors comment on Trump review of national monuments

As we’ve been covering here on Legal Planet, the Trump Administration is conducting a review of national monuments created over the past 20 years, and has indicated it may seek to eliminate or shrink some of those monuments.  Part of that process is a public comment period.  (You can comment here, deadline is July 10.)  […]

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Public Lands Watch: BLM Methane Rule

BLM delays compliance date for certain provisions of the rule

As we reported earlier, the Obama Administration promulgated a regulation restricting the emissions of methane from oil and gas operations on federal public lands.  Efforts to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn that regulation failed last month.  Now the Interior Department is delaying compliance with certain provisions of the rule indefinitely, citing pending litigation […]

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National Monuments Update

Interior Department releases interim report, recommends changes to Bears Ears National Monument

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke released his interim report yesterday on Bears Ears National Monument, recommending that President Trump re-draw the monument’s boundaries. Secretary Zinke’s report misreads both the Antiquities Act and President Obama’s 2016 Proclamation that created Bears Ears National Monument, and any move by President Trump to downsize the monument without an act of Congress […]

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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

[Updated June 12, 2017 to reflect availability of final published article] 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 (published in Virginia Law Review Online) about the President’s authority to abolish or shrink national monuments.  This article provides detailed historical research and […]

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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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