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
Under the Trump administration, BLM has declined even further than in previous decades. We hope for a brighter future for BLM, which is so needed.
BLM Can Find No Documents Explaining Pendley Selection or Qualifications
62-Year Legacy of Advocating for Public Lands Will Continue
A new administration must stop address climate change, stop the fossil fuel madness and rapidly work to heal our degraded public lands.
PEER outlines the critical steps that the National Park Service must take in order to return the agency to its original mission and move into the future.
Lawsuit and Audit to Expose Shady Telecom Deals with National Parks
Former DOE scientist Bill Dam reveals groundwater contamination coming from several former uranium mills in Wyoming, endangering two Native American tribes.
Federal Vacancies Law Forbids Nominees to Serve as “Acting Officer”
In FOIA Suit, Pendley Admits Law Enforcement Policies Did Not Change
Trump plans to stage a dangerous distraction disguised as fireworks at Mt. Rushmore, risking both wildfires and potentially, public health from the crowds.
National Forests receive less attention than parks during COVID-19, but overcrowding, lack of resources, and risk to gateway communities are the same.
Trees Felled in Proposed Wilderness and Historic Landmarks Penetrated
Hurried Push to Finalize Regulation Amidst Pandemic Aims to Block Lawsuit
Prosecution Unlikely Amid Sharp Decline in Interior Criminal Enforcement
In the midst of a pandemic, corruption at the Department of Interior continues with slashed oil and gas royalties and fines on renewable energy companies.
In order for national parks to remain “America’s Best Idea,” park managers must move from merely maximizing crowds to actually managing them.
Disney World Will Embrace Public Health Measures NPS Eschews
PEER and Western Watersheds Project sued the Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, alleging that Bernhardt has used temporary appointees to lead the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management in violation of federal laws and the U.S. Constitution.
Violations of Constitution and Vacancies Act Charged for Unconfirmed Chiefs
Interior Secretary Bernhardt ordered the Lincoln Memorial closed so that President Trump could give an interview on the current pandemic.