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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

National Wildlife Federation

Sportsmen's, wildlife groups back wildlife & water protections for CO's South Park

Sun, 08/02/2015

Sportsmen's and wildlife groups want safeguards for wildlife and fish in South Park: Image: Suzanne O'Neill/CWF

By Judith Kohler

Sportsmen’s and wildlife groups want to see important wildlife habitat in Colorado’s South Park closed to oil and gas drilling, safeguards in other wildlife areas during critical times of the year and buffers to protect the area’s valuable trout fisheries.

The National Wildlife Federation and Colorado Wildlife Federation have joined other outdoor organizations in providing input to the Bureau of Land Management in the first round of public comments for a document that will chart the future of South Park, a regionally renowned fishing, hunting and recreation area. South Park is the headwaters of the South Platte River and provides at least a third of the Denver area’s drinking water.

The BLM will write a master leasing plan for South Park as part of an update of the resource management plan for its Royal Gorge field office. There will be more opportunities for public input in coming months.

Congressional panel grills BLM on drilling public lands

Tue, 03/31/2015


The Bureau of Land Management has requested a funding increase that will in part add well inspectors. Image: Judith Kohler

It was grill and drill time in the House Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Members grilled Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze and U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell March 26 on the agencies’ proposed budgets. And Chairman Doug Lamborn of Colorado and other members had an emphatic answer to managing public lands and boosting the economy – “Drill!”

However, as Kornze pointed out, millions of acres of leased land and thousands of approved drilling permits are sitting idle. 

“Right now the industry holds leases on just over 34 million acres of public lands, an area roughly the size of Florida, though it is only producing from about one of three of those acres,” Kornze said.


Sportsmen, outdoor enthusiasts rally across the West for public lands

Wed, 03/11/2015

About 100 hunters, anglers, wildlife watchers and outdoor enthusiasts rallied on the steps of the Colorado Capitol. Image: Judith Kohler

By Judith Kohler

The rumble heard in late January when hundreds of people crowded into the New Mexico statehouse to demand that public lands stay in public hands has only grown louder and deeper, spreading throughout the Rocky Mountain West.

Sportsmen and women have joined with hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, paddlers, wildlife watchers and others to take their fight for American public lands to the steps or lobbies of statehouses from Santa Fe to Carson City. They are meeting one-on-one with legislators, writing letters to the editor and talking to the media. 

As hunters and anglers fight efforts at the state level to dismantle our outdoor heritage attacks are occurring at the federal level, including proposals to gut the Antiquities Act and sell public lands. 

Idaho sportsmen and women set up camp on the grounds of the state capitol in Boise.

Sportsmen support call for Browns Canyon monument

Tue, 11/25/2014

Sportsmen are joining Colorado's senators in asking that Browns Canyon be made a national monument. Photo by Jeff Mitton

Hunters and anglers are joining Colorado Sens. Mark Udall and Mike Bennet in calling on President Barack Obama to consider using his authority to make Browns Canyon a national monument. Several different groups have worked for years to protect the popular recreation area and stunning backcountry, but congressional gridlock threatens to thwart the public's wishes.