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Articles on Public lands

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Smith & Wesson handguns on display at the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas, Jan. 19, 2016. AP Photo/John Locher

Fewer Americans are hunting, and that raises hard questions about funding conservation through gun sales

Every gun and bullet sold in the U.S. generates excise taxes to support conservation. But Americans are buying guns now for different reasons than in the past – and increasingly, not for hunting.
A satellite captured large and small deforestation patches in Amazonas State in 2015. The forest loss has escalated since then. USGS/NASA Landsat data/Orbital Horizon/Gallo Images/Getty Images

The great Amazon land grab – how Brazil’s government is clearing the way for deforestation

Land grabs spearheaded by wealthy interests are accelerating deforestation, and Brazil’s National Congress is working to legitimize them.
U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland speaks in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Oct. 1, 2018. Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

‘Indian Country’ is excited about the first Native American secretary of the interior – and the promise she has for addressing issues of importance to all Americans

If confirmed, US Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico would be the first Native American to run the agency that interacts with tribal nations. But her agenda extends far beyond Indian Country.
A polar bear crosses ice In Alaska’s Chukchi Sea area, where a recent court ruling bars the Trump administration from greenlighting offshore drilling. NOAA/OER/Hidden Ocean 2016:The Chukchi Borderlands

A defeat on offshore drilling extends the Trump administration’s losing streak in court

Can presidents undo decisions by their predecessors to protect federal lands from development? A recent court ruling on offshore drilling says no, and could also affect contested lands in Utah.
Wildland firefighters, like this crew heading into New Mexico’s Gila National Forest, in 2012, are equipped and operate differently from urban firefighters. USFS Gila National Forest

All wildfires are not alike, but the US is fighting them that way

A historian of wildfires explains the difference between urban and rural fire cultures, and what it means for protecting communities in fire-prone rural areas.
Supporters of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments during a rally Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 in Salt Lake City. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

President Trump’s national monument rollback is illegal and likely to be reversed in court

President Trump signed an order on Dec. 4 to drastically reduce the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Four legal experts explain why this action is likely to be reversed.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has proposed shrinking Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument and allowing more public access and road maintenance. Bob Wich/BLM

Shrinking and altering national monuments: Experts assess Interior Secretary Zinke’s proposals

Environmental law and natural resource experts respond to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s proposals to shrink four national monuments and allow logging, fishing and other activities in six more.
Bears Ears National Monument, Utah. Bob Wick, BLM/Flickr

National monuments: Presidents can create them, but only Congress can undo them

President Trump has ordered a review of national monuments protected by his predecessors, and may try to abolish or shrink some. But four legal experts say that only Congress has that authority.

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