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.
Grazing and Rangeland Health
Livestock grazing allows heavily subsidized private operators to degrade our public lands.
Cell Tower Invasion
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.
Oil and Gas Drilling
Environmental and public health risks are being ignored by regulatory agencies and decisions heavily influenced by profit-driven industries.
“Orphaned” Park Wilderness
Twenty-five million acres of recommended wilderness in our national park system are in limbo, marooned by politics.
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
PEERMail | Un-Silencing National Park Service Voices
Park Service employees deserve work environments that are respectful, inclusive, and safe. Their voices should be heard.
Park Service Shelved Employee Harassment Review
Elaborate Employee Outreach Effort Completed in 2018 but Not Distributed
COMMENTARY | A Challenge for the New Director of the National Park Service
Absent a major shift in priorities at the National Park Service, it is only a matter of time before we see preventable deaths and other disasters
FAA Off Course on National Park Air Tour Plans
No Environmental or Noise Assessments Inform Draft Management Plans
Interior Wild Horse Focus Ignores Cattle Impacts
BLM’s Scientific “Cow Blindness” Impedes Sage Grouse Recovery
STATEMENT | Bureau of Land Management to Re-Open DC Headquarters
PEER applauds the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to return its headquarters to Washington, DC.
Park Service Shuns Planning Law Despite Obvious Need
NPS Claims Statutes Rendered “Obsolete” by Outgoing Trump Directive
Park Service Unveils Wobbly New E-Bike Policy
Superintendents Told to Figure Out E-Bike Access on Park-by-Park Basis
Park Crowding Will Worsen As Foreign Tourists Return
Parks Lack Plans Despite Explicit Mandate to Develop Carrying Capacities
Nevada Has a Very Bad Grazing Problem
Worst in West: Two-Thirds of Assessed BLM Allotments Badly Overgrazed
Decades of Overgrazing Compromise 30 x 30 Goal
40 Million Acres Fail Minimum Federal Standards for Rangeland Health
Park Service Pedals Backward on E-Bikes
In the Midst of Lawsuit, Trump-Era Order is Rescinded
PEERMail | Plastic Free Parks Are Possible!
The National Park Service must act quickly to address the crisis of plastics in our parks, Sec. Haaland has an opportunity to make a difference.
PETITION | Plastic Free Parks
Petition to Sec of Interior to outlaw sales of plastic water bottles in national parks, setting a green example and decreasing plastic waste in parks by 75%.
National Parks Should Go Plastic Free
Rulemaking Petition Presses Park Service to Ban Plastic Water Bottle Sales
COMMENTARY | Beefalo Befuddlement in Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon’s plan to “lethally remove” 12 beefalo from its herd is fraught with ambiguity and lacking in scientific rationale.
COMMENTARY | Haaland’s Bold Move Forward at Interior
Structural changes within the Department of Interior will further Secretary Haaland’s goals of tackling the climate crisis and conservation.
Yellowstone’s Thermal Features vs. Expanded Bandwidth
Plan to Bury 187 Miles of Fiber Optic Cable May Damage Park “Hot” Spots
Federal Land Give-Away to Las Vegas Opposed
Transfer Will Fuel Sprawl, Aggravating Water and Resource Woes
Suit to Bar E-Bikes from Park Trails Gets Greenlight
Claims Challenging Legality of NPS E-Bikes Approval Will Be Heard