Parks and Public Lands

Protecting America’s Public Lands

Roughly 300 million acres of American lands, most in the West, are set aside as public lands and maintained using taxes paid by all Americans. These lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and National Wildlife Refuge System are by charter supposed to be managed for multiple uses including recreation and provision of wildlife habitat and clean water sources. Increasingly, however, they are run for the benefit of extractive industries and with little regard for the preservation of the rare wildlife or iconic natural beauty for which they are famous. 

With the help of conscientious range management specialists, scientists, law enforcement officers and other workers within these agencies, PEER is uncovering how our precious national heritage is being sold to the highest bidder, often under the direction of poorly qualified and illegally appointed political appointees. 

Livestock grazing allows heavily subsidized private operators to degrade our public lands.

Our national parks are drowning in a rising tide of plastic waste.

Cell phone towers spread across national parks without proper planning and public input.

Off-road vehicle abuse is a growing problem on our public lands, especially in the West.

Environmental and public health risks are being ignored by regulatory agencies and decisions heavily influenced by profit-driven industries.

Twenty-five million acres of recommended wilderness in our national park system are in limbo, marooned by politics.

Unregulated air tours threaten the serenity of national parks and are a danger to wildlife.

REPORT | The Biden Administration’s Bureau of Land Management

As the Biden administration nears its halfway point, there are both encouraging signs of progress and plenty of room for growth when it comes to conserving public lands. Stronger leadership from the Biden administration and within federal land agencies is critical to act on both the climate and biodiversity crises. No public lands agency more epitomizes the challenges and opportunities ahead than the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) – the country’s largest land manager at more than 245 million acres.

Read the report»

Mapping Rangeland Health

BLM Rangeland Map 2012

Our interactive BLM Rangeland Health Standards Evaluation Data (2020) on MangoMaps is based on data from 2020, obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. PEER worked with a former BLM contractor to analyze what these records reveal about the condition of our public lands and BLM’s discharge of its duties to safeguard them.

Download the Rangeland Health Fact Sheet»

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PEERMail: Threats to Public Lands

By now, you have probably have heard about the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) decision to fire Craig Hoover, a long-time, highly respected range management veteran in Nevada. Mr. Hoover got on the wrong side of his management for reporting illegal grazing in the...

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Water & Brimstone

Environmental scientist Barry Sulkin begins to study the impact of recreational ATV activity on the rivers and creeks that feed into the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River, a protected national treasure

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From: Missoulian ““During the litigation, (Interior Secretary Ryan) Zinke decided against the transfer,” said Paula Dinerstein, attorney for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which led a long list of opponents to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife...

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