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.
Off-road vehicle abuse is a growing problem on our public lands, especially in the West.
Oil and Gas Drilling
Environmental and public health risks are being ignored by regulatory agencies and decisions heavily influenced by profit-driven industries.
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.
Mapping Rangeland Health
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.
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NEWS FROM PEER
Choice May Signal Administration Cave-In on Opposition to Mountain Top Removal
National Parks Will Suffer from Water Withdrawals, Pollution and Habitat Loss
NRA Goes Ballistic on Gun-Shy Obama Administration
Ruling on Delaware’s Prime Hook May Affect Farming on Scores of Other Refuges
U.S. and Alaska Fail to Collect $92 Million Damage Claim Filed Back in 2006
Damage to Endangered Bat Caves and Toxic Pits Plague Monongahela NF
Wilderness and Experimental Forests in 34 Eastern States Open to Drilling
New Mountain Bicycle Trails Will Drive Out Other Users and Aggravate Backlog
Lion’s Share of CDCA Included in Landscape Conservation System by Omnibus Bill
Falling Commodity Prices Brings Brief Reprieve for Petrified Forest and Aztec Ruins
Lame Duck Rule Opens Park Backcountry and Proposed Wilderness to Bike Trails
Widespread Noncompliance Wipes Out Invaluable Prehistoric and Cultural Heritage
Bison Range Deal Cedes “Inherently Federal” Functions and Bars Public Oversight
NAPA Finds Historic Resources “at Risk” due to Low Support and Poor Leadership
Less than $17,000 in Florida State Pollution Penalty Assessments Over 20 Years
Bill Establishing Landscape Conservation System Fudges on CDCA Inclusion
Senior EPA Agent Charges Criminal Investigation Truncated and Fines Slashed
Lame Duck Rule Would Clear Way for Mountain Bike Trails in Park Backcountry
Hikers, Campers, Anglers and Other Forest Visitors Worry That New Forest Service Proposal Would Lead to More Noise, Pollution and Safety Risks From Dirt Bikes and Off-Road Vehicles
New Plan Extends Large Electronic Footprint across Yellowstone’s Iconic Sites