March 25, 2013 |
President Obama on Monday established five new national monuments, including one in Washington's San Juan Islands and one in northern New Mexico. The Río Grande del Norte National Monument elevates protections for 242,550 acres of U.S. Bureau of Land Management holdings northwest of Taos. A variety of wildlife, 500-year-old trees and extinct volcanoes are found in the monument, which lies between the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges. The monument includes parts of the 800-foot-deep Rio Grande Gorge, carved by the river as it flows across highlands that feature petroglyphs and archaeological sites.
March 6, 2013 |
LAS VEGAS - A national animal advocacy group excoriated the federal government, saying it misled the public about last week's removal of 11 wild mustangs that had coexisted for years with residents of a populated area outside Carson City, Nev. The Humane Society of the United States has called for the Bureau of Land Management to return the animals to the wild, rather than following through on plans to put them up for adoption. “The Humane Society of the United States denounces the Bureau of Land Management's decision to remove a small band of wild horses located just east of Carson City, Nev., in the Pine Nut Herd Management Area,” according to a statement released by the group Tuesday.
December 27, 2012 |
A study released last week by the Bureau of Reclamation confirms what everyone already knows: We are sucking more water out of the Colorado River Basin than nature is putting in. Like draining a savings account, water users in the seven basin states (Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California) and Mexico have been drawing down Lake Powell and Lake Mead by about a million more acre-feet of water than rain and snowmelt provide each year. According to the bureau, users' plans for yet more pipelines combined with the effects of global warming, will push the annual deficit as high as 8 million acre-feet by 2060, a cataclysmic shortfall.
November 14, 2012 |
An investigative journalist who has reported on the federal government's alleged sale of hundreds of wild horses to a known kill-buyer has released a video of a face-off in which Interior Secretary Ken Salazar threatens to punch him during an impromptu interview. Dave Philipps, now a reporter for the Colorado Springs Gazette, conducted a two-minute interview with the cowboy-hat-wearing Salazar, a Democrat, at an event taking place at an Obama campaign office in Fountain, Colo., on Election Day. In September, Philipps' article for the online ProPublica investigative group claimed the Bureau of Land Management, which manages hundreds of millions of acres of public land in 11 states, was knowingly selling wild horses to a middleman who is thought to have taken them to Mexico for eventual slaughter.
March 7, 2012 |
Like much else in government, U.S. public land policy is a vestige of the past, established in 1910 when America's population was just 92.2 million and a Western state such as Nevada had only 81,000 residents. Today our needs are much different and much greater. The United States can no longer afford to keep tens of millions of acres of "public" land locked up and out of service. Some of these lands have great commercial value; others are environmental treasures. We need policies capable of distinguishing between the two. Few Easterners realize the immense magnitude of the public lands.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 28, 2011 |
The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled its road map for solar energy development, directing large-scale industrial projects to 285,000 acres of desert land in the western U.S. while opening 20 million acres of the Mojave for new development. The Bureau of Land Management's long-awaited "solar energy zones" are intended to make some of the desert's most sensitive landscapes less desirable for solar prospecting by identifying "sweet spots" that have already passed environmental requirements and therefore promise expedited permitting, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.