Best Dog-Friendly Public Lands

Don’t worry about finding a dog sitter when you head out for an outdoor adventure. You can bring your furry companion along for all kinds of fun on America’s public lands. Service dogs are permitted on all public lands, while most national parks allow pets in developed areas. Other locations – such as national wildlife refuges, national forests, and wild and scenic...

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Is Resistance Futile? Cigarette Butts Still Dominate Public Lands Litter

Smokers burn through 6 trillion cigarettes every year, and most are tossed into the environment. Butts contain microplastics and harmful chemicals, and new research suggests they may be directly toxic to wildlife. Efforts to curb butt litter have been largely futile. For the environmental advocacy group Surfrider, a plan to curb the littering of cigarette butts began...

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US poised to allow more mining on land Trump removed from monuments

US officials have announced plans to allow increased mining on land that once belonged to two national monuments Donald Trump shrank, and to sell off some of the land despite pledges not to do so. The two monuments, now significantly smaller in size, are both in Utah. The draft management plan for Grand Staircase-Escalante national monument includes a 98-page minerals...

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Under Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of the Interior, it’s a sell-off from sea to shining sea

On his first day as Secretary of the Interior, last March, Ryan Zinke rode through downtown Washington, D.C., on a roan named Tonto. When the Secretary is working at the department’s main office, on C Street, a staff member climbs up to the roof of the building and hoists a special flag, which comes down when Zinke goes home for the day. The department, which comprises...

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Find Your Public Lands Adventure

Are you craving some fun in the sun, a thrilling outdoor experience or a chance to witness an incredible natural phenomenon? America’s public lands offer endless opportunities for fun and adventure. Whether you’re an experienced rafter or a novice, the Grand Canyon in Arizona is the perfect place for individual or group rafting trips. Rafting the Colorado River provides...

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The benefits of public wildlands, explained

We’ve all seen the Instagram pictures of hikers clad in brand-name outdoor gear relaxing in front of picturesque mountain lakes or perching on impossibly angled red rock in all their glory. It’s easy to see that public lands, which include everything from national monuments to national parks and national forests, are beautiful and can provide great photo ops,...

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Fleeing to the Mountains

In contrast to many advanced countries, the United States has a vast and spectacular publicly owned wilderness, mostly free and available to all. In an age of inequality, the affluent have gated neighborhoods, private schools, backup generators and greater influence on elected officials. But our most awe-inspiring wild places have remained largely a public good to be...

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Congressional Republicans declare open season on federal lands

House Republicans have changed the way Congress calculates the cost of transferring federal lands to the states and other entities, a move that will make it easier for members of the new Congress to cede federal control of public lands. The provision, included as part as a larger rules package the House approved by a vote of 233 to 190 during its first day in session,...

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The Bundy Standoff is a Sign of Things to Come

The acquittal of Ammon Bundy and other militia members who occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon last January leaves our public lands and the people who steward them in a vulnerable position. Indeed, it puts a target on their backs. The Bundy family has said as much. “The government should be scared,” Ryan Bundy asserted to the Washington Post less than...

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This year’s GOP platform pushes federal land transfers

The Republican Party is drafting its 2016 platform, which represents a hard swerve to the right on social issues. But other parts of its stance have long been consistent – most notably, its push for transferring federal lands to state control. Party platforms are not binding, but they do demonstrate party priorities – what the base thinks are the most important issues...

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These Are the Representatives Who Want to Sell Your Public Lands

Large parts of the country, primarily in the West, have long harbored anti-federalist attitudes and called for the sale or transfer of U.S. lands to states or private hands. But the antagonism toward collective American ownership has flared dramatically in the last five years, and a new report from the Center for American Progress points to 20 members of Congress as...

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4 myths about America’s parks and public lands

Fact-checking four of the most pervasive myths used by anti-conservation land takeover proponents. As presidential hopefuls tour the country, some candidates are spreading false rhetoric about our national public lands, how they originated and to whom these lands “rightfully” belong. The standoff at Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge has shed light on the...

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Western Voters Don’t Want States To Take Over Public Lands

The armed terrorists that are entering their second week occupying a wildlife refuge in Oregon might be in favor of states taking over ownership of public lands, but Westerners as a whole aren’t, according to a new poll. The poll, released January 11, 2016 by Colorado College, surveyed voters in seven western states (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Utah,...

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Not Even National Parks Are Safe From Fracking

America’s national parks cover nearly 52 million acres — an area roughly the size of Kansas — and contain some of the most incredible natural landscapes in the country. Sweeping valleys, frosted mountain peaks and immaculate waterways host a range of incredible wildlife, many of which are threatened or endangered. National parks are also public lands, maintained by the...

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Public Land Under Siege: US Wilderness

On the 26th of March 2015, the United States’ senate voted to pass SA 838, a budget amendment that constitutes the first step in allowing the transfer of certain types of federal land into the stewardship of individual states and paving the way for the sale of these lands to private concerns. The amendment, proposed by Alaskan senator Lisa Murkowski, garnered 51 “yeas”...

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Our Land, Up for Grabs

It’s difficult to understand why, but a battle is looming over America’s public lands. Given decades of consistent, strong support from voters of both parties for protecting land, water and the thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic benefits these resources make possible, it’s hard to fathom. Last week, the United States Senate voted 51 to 49 to...

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