Public Lands

Reviving LBJ’s Vision

Maybe What We Need is a Green Great Society

Talk about a Green New Deal is rife these days, but perhaps what we should be talking about instead is a Green Great Society. Actually, Lyndon Johnson’s vision of the great society was green from the get-go, so maybe we could just call for a renewed Great Society. What the Great Society is known for …

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Public Lands Watch: Final Changes to Sage Grouse Protections

BLM announces final version of revisions to protections for sage grouse on Western federal public lands

This blog post was drafted by Jamie T. Martinez. On March 15, the Trump administration finalized its plan to loosen protections on federal lands for the habitat of the greater sage-grouse, a near-threatened species that lives in sagebrush country across the western United States. The final plan amends the resource plans adopted in 2015 to …

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Public Lands Watch: Alaska National Wildlife Refuge

Public comment period for environmental review for oil and gas leasing in Alaska National Wildlife Refuge

This blog post was drafted by Jamie T. Martinez. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in order to implement the Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program established in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) (see Public Law 115-97 Title II § 20001(b)(2)). This leasing program …

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Public Lands Watch: Natural Resources Management Act

Legislation in Congress would expand parks, permanently authorize conservation fund

This blog post was drafted by Jamie T. Martinez.  On February 12, the Senate passed the Natural Resources Management Act (NRMA), 92-8. What does the NRMA do? Simply put: a lot. If passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the President, the NRMA will protect approximately 1.3 million acres as wilderness areas, expand …

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One Cheer For “Corruption”

New Public Lands Bill Is A Triumph For The Environment — and an Attack on American Public Philosophy

Some unanticipated good news: The Senate on Tuesday passed the most sweeping conservation legislation in a decade, protecting millions of acres of land and hundreds of miles of wild rivers across the country and establishing four new national monuments honoring heroes from Civil War soldiers to a civil rights icon. The 662-page measure, which passed 92 …

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Commemorating a Major Environmental Disaster–One With a Transformative Legacy

1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill Sparked the Beginning of America’s Modern Environmental Era

This week marks the 50th anniversary of one of the most serious and consequential environmental disasters in American history–the Santa Barbara offshore oil spill of 1969.  On January 28, 1969, an offshore oil rig (Platform A) owned and operated by the Union Oil Company and operating in federally-controlled waters in the Santa Barbara Channel off …

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Guest Blogger Justin Pidot: Interior Proposes New FOIA Rule that Inhibits Government Transparency

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guarantees public access to the records of federal agencies. It embodies the view that government works best when it works in the open. On the Friday between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the Department of the Interior quietly published a proposed regulation that will make it harder for the …

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The Power of the Purse

House Democrats have power to use appropriations process to stop Trump Administration environmental rollbacks

Dan has already posted about some of the big deregulatory steps the Trump Administration is likely to take in the next year. But the new Democratic majority in the House could have something to say about those steps, if they wanted to. Democrats will have even more leverage over spending bills than they had in …

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Public Lands Watch: Sage Grouse Plans Move Forward

Administration takes next steps to scale back protections for iconic Western bird on federal public lands.

I’ve posted before about proposals by the Trump Administration to roll back protections for the sage grouse, an iconic species of the Western United States, from oil and gas development on federal public lands.  (The initial blog post with background is here; the specific proposed revisions are here.)  The Administration has now issued a final …

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The Wild & Scenic Rivers Act Turns 50

Celebrating a Half Century of Protecting America’s Rivers–& Hoping for More River Conservation Ahead

1968 was an especially tumultuous year in modern American history.  The nation endured the assassinations of both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy; then-President Lyndon Johnson announced he would not seek reelection due to growing public dissatisfaction with the government’s conduct of the Vietnam War; and protests and riots consumed Chicago, Detroit, Washington, …

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