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. 

Grazing and Rangeland Health

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

Plastic Free Parks

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

Cell Tower Invasion

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

Off-Road Wreckreation

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.

Park Service Employee Outreach Effort with Unsettling Results Shelved Since 2018

A detailed examination of the toxic work culture within the National Park Service (NPS) has gathered dust for the past three years despite promises that it would be used as a critical tool for healing. NPS commissioned an outreach campaign called “NPS Voices” that engaged staff in a series of in-person and web-based listening sessions.  All NPS employees were invited to participate in what top officials called “a cornerstone in our efforts to change the culture that has allowed harassment to persist.” Unfortunately, shelving the report likely had the opposite impact on morale.

Read the report»
Read the press release»

A New Era for the Bureau of Land Management

In January and February of 2021, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) conducted a series of in-depth phone interviews with current and former Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employees from nine states from Headquarters, State Offices and Field Offices. The purpose of this survey was to identify steps the Biden administration can take to strengthen the institutional capacity of the BLM to better address conservation and climate change goals. read the report»

NEWS FROM PEER

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SETTLEMENT REACHED IN LATEST LAWSUIT OVER NATIONAL BISON RANGE

From: KPAX.com “Development of a Comprehensive Conservation Plan, as required by law, ran into a snag a couple of years ago when the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed suit. PEER was particularly worried when the Fish and Wildlife Service began...

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NATIONAL BISON RANGE SETTLES TIMELINE FOR PLAN

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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CLIVEN BUNDY IS A FREE MAN. HIS COWS ARE STILL A NUISANCE

From: Mother Jones ““There’s sort of a metaphor between Bundy and his cows: They’ve both gone rogue,” says Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a nonprofit that represents employees from agencies such as the BLM. " Read...

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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK GETS NEW SUPERINTENDENT IN TRUMP SHUFFLE

From: SFGate “The acting director of the National Park Service was shuffled out of his job Wednesday, reassigned to head Yosemite National Park while being replaced with a retired parks official who was once accused of skirting environmental law but is believed to be...

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