Solar Energy on the Fast Track

Yesterday, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Nevada Senator Harry Reid announced a series of initiatives to create a “fast track” for the development of utility scale solar energy facilities on Western public lands.  This will include designating certain tracts of land as especially promising based on solar potential and land use compatibility, funding environmental …


Bill would emphasize wildlife on public lands

Reps. Ron Kind (D. WI) and Walter Jones (R. NC) have introduced a new bill, dubbed the America’s Wildlife Heritage Act (H.R. 2807), in the House. The bill is intended to shift the balance of power over the nation’s multiple-use lands (those managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management) a bit away …


More Nominations

Sam Hamilton, a career federal biologist, to head the Fish and Wildlife Service. Bob Abbey, a longtime Bureau of Land Management official before becoming a private consultant, as director of BLM. Both of them seem to be accomplished professionals. However, E&E News reported (subscription req’d), GOP Senators seem to be sitting on many Obama nominations …


Omnibus Public Land Management Act Signed Into Law

The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which I discussed in this post a couple of weeks ago, passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Obama earlier this week.  A transcript of the President’s remarks on the new law is here, courtesy of the New York Times.  The prior version of this …


DiFi defends the Desert Tortoise

As one example of the growing conflict over use of sensitive lands for renewable energy projects (Ann recently blogged about this tension here), check out Sen. Feinstein’s letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking that the BLM suspend consideration of proposed leases on federal lands near Joshua Tree National Park being considered for solar energy fields.  “While …