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Saving the Sagebrush Sea: An Imperiled Western Legacy

Nearly 350 plant and animal species depend on sagebrush habitat for their survival.


Western Public Lands

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Message sent & received: Now is Browns Canyon's time

Judith Kohler December 15, 2014

A wave of support follows Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet's call to President Obama to designate Colorado's  Browns Canyon as our nation's next national monument. 

HUNT Act would open locked public lands

Russell Bassett, Aug. 2, 2014


Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, sponsor of the Hunt Act, plays a trout in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Photo by Garrett VeneKlasen
Recreating outdoors—whether you fish, hunt, hike, camp, or all of the above—is not only a ton of fun, it’s also good for you. There is considerable evidence the
exercise involved with these activities, coupled with the de-stressing benefits of being in nature, promote physical and mental health.
For a majority of Americans, participating in their favorite outdoor activities often involve being able to access public lands. For sportsmen and women especially, public lands are often vital for enjoying hunting and fishing. Unfortunately, many federal public lands are actually off-limits to the public because they are surrounded by private lands and lack legal access. A recent report found that more than four million acres of these so-called “landlocked” public lands in the West
are closed to outdoor recreation.
The HUNT Act by Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico would improve access on public lands The bill, S.1554, seeks to fix the problem of poor access due to “landlocked” public lands.


Congressional Committee Plays Jekyll and Hyde on Public Lands

Bentley Johnson, Feb. 5, 2014

Photo by Ann Morgan

Recent votes by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Natural Resources Committee are emblematic of how some members of Congress are whipsawing management of our nation’s federal public lands. The markup of a number of public lands bills saw valuable bipartisanship on bills that would protect a watershed outside of Glacier National Park in Montana and designate thousands of acres of wilderness within Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan.

Is Utah -- other Western states -- ready to take over national sites for real?

Judith Kohler

For the overwhelming majority of Americans, the shutdown of a vast array of federal services has been everything from inconvenient to financially disastrous. For the state of Utah, the shutdown could be a golden opportunity for the tiniest taste of what political leaders say they want – to take control of the millions of acres of federally managed lands in the state.