public lands

Map of federal public lands in the West. BLM lands shown in yellow. The red pin marks Grand Junction, Colorado.
Headwaters Economics / headwaterseconomics.org

The Bureau of Land Management is moving more staff and—perhaps most significantly—its headquarters to the Mountain West.

Depending on who you ask, relocating the BLM’s headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Grand Junction, Colorado will make the agency more efficient, give preferential treatment to the fossil fuel industry—or even functionally dismantle it.

A checkboard pattern of public land occurs along the I-80 corridor in Nevada, dating back to the U.S. Government's decision to subsidize construction of railroads by giving companies land in this pattern.
onX

Millions of acres of public land throughout our region are inaccessible to the public. A new law in Nevada is trying to fix that.

Highlander Beer

A conservation group and a Mountain West brewery are teaming up to raise money to preserve public lands. Their idea? A new pale ale, called "Public Land Owner."

Bureau of Land Management

Much of the public lands leased for oil and gas in our region are acquired through a noncompetitive process with the Bureau of Land Management. A new report says that's not good for taxpayers.

American Public Power Association / Unsplash

New legislation that aims to significantly increase renewable energy utility projects on public lands is receiving strong bipartisan support.

Members of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources were united in support of the Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act.

High Wild Horse Numbers Have Ranchers Concerned

Jul 24, 2019
A band of wild horses lopes in the distance on public lands in Butte Valley.
Kathleen Masterson / KUNR

For decades, ranchers and wild horse advocates have traded barbs. Yet now that Nevada’s wild horse population has reached an all-time high, most agree that some herds have too many horses. The eastern side of the state in particular has thousands more horses than the Bureau of Land Management says the area can sustain, and many ranchers say the horses are overgrazing, which is costing them big.

 

 

 

 

A volunteer with a darting gun used to treat horses with fertility control walks toward a band.
Kathleen Masterson / KUNR

Wild horses roaming in the Virginia Range made national news when they were photographed on the campus of the Tesla Gigafactory. Though the photos are idyllic, the state says there are currently about 2,500 more horses than the land can sustain. Because this population is more accustomed to humans, that actually makes it a good place to try fertility control for managing the herd.  

Nevada Wild Horse Population Skyrockets To New High

Jul 22, 2019
Kathleen Masterson / KUNR

Nevada’s wild horse population has exploded to an all-time high of more than 43,000 horses. That’s 60 percent of all the wild horses roaming the West — and it’s nearly quadruple the 12,800 equids the Bureau of Land Management says that Nevada’s land can sustain. There's long been controversy over just how to manage wild horses in the West, and some would say the result has been no management at all.

The last time the royalty rate for oil and gas production on federal land changed was in 1920. Proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives would address that, but the industry stands opposed.

Headwaters Economics

The Mountain West is home to huge swaths of public land. A new web-based tool is now showing people exactly where that land is and which agency is managing it.

Primatologist Jane Goodall speaks to students about conservation at a school in Incline Village.
Paul Boger / KUNR Public Radio

Some students in Incline Village are among the newest members of an organization dedicated to promoting humanitarianism, conservation and environmentalism. As KUNR’s Paul Boger reports, the group’s founder, famed primatologist Jane Goodall, was in town to welcome them aboard.

Quote:"If you were watching the debate for a lesson in civility, I think you would have had more luck watching a boxing match."
Paul Boger

Polling in Nevada’s U.S. Senate race has been neck and neck for months with any advantage well within the margin of error. And last Friday, the top contenders for the position sparred over the biggest issues in that race. To talk about the debate between Jacky Rosen and Dean Heller,  KUNR’s Bree Zender spoke to Senior Political Reporter Paul Boger to get the breakdown.

David Sorich / Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

The two candidates running for Congressional District 2 in Northern Nevada are clashing over how to manage public lands.

Reno Public Radio’s Noah Glick reports.

Republican Mark Amodei and Democratic challenger Chip Evans are facing off for a chance to represent Northern Nevada in the U.S. House of Representatives.

One important issue facing Nevada's 2nd Congressional District is who should be in charge of its public lands.

ThisisReno.com

A federal lands bill could mean Washoe County will acquire some public land. Our reporter Bob Conrad is finding that some who could be impacted by the proposed changes have got questions.

The legislation is called the “Economic Development and Conservation Act." A draft of the bill is not yet public, but Washoe County has held two open houses to gather questions and feedback.

County planning director Bill Whitney says the bill is 15 years in the making.

The National Park Service turns 100 tomorrow. And in a recent national poll, voters of color indicate protecting public lands should be a federal priority. Reno Public Radio’s Anh Gray explains.

Urban Sprawl Encroaching Nevada's Open Spaces

Jun 2, 2016
disappearingwest.org

A new study that looks at land loss across the American West shows urban sprawl encroaching on Nevada's wide open spaces. 

Public lands make up about 80 percent of Nevada, but a new map shows just how much we humans have been spreading out over the last decade.

The findings come from researchers at the nonprofit Conservation Science Partners and funded by the Center for American Progress to track the decline of natural landscapes.

Nicole Gentile helped direct the project, called "The Disappearing West."

Report: "Quiet Recreation" Boosts Nevada Economy

Apr 5, 2016
Adam Bautz / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Nevada’s federally-managed public lands bring in nearly $172 million a year from so-called “quiet recreation.” That’s according to a new study released by Pew Charitable Trusts.

“Quiet recreation” refers to activities that generally don’t require motorized equipment--think hunting, biking and camping. 

Julia Ritchey

A new report is calling on Congress to more vocally address rising extremism on public lands in the West. 

Anti-government protestors have organized four armed confrontations on public lands since Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's well-publicized standoff with federal land managers in 2014.

UNR

  Western Shoshone ranchers and sisters, Carrie and Mary Dann, fought for decades with the federal government for the right to graze their cattle on ancestral lands. Although they ultimately lost, a new collection preserves the records of their long struggle.

Mary Dann passed away in 2005 and her surviving sister, Carrie, still lives near Battle Mountain on land her ancestors settled centuries ago.

Caucus Looming, Sanders Talks Western Issues In Reno

Feb 13, 2016
Julia Ritchey

Fresh off a win in New Hampshire, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders made another stop in Reno over the weekend. Our reporter Julia Ritchey was there.  

 

Sanders is stepping up his campaigning in Nevada less than a week before the Democratic caucus. 

 

On Saturday, he appeared at a forum called “Real Solutions for Real People” sponsored by several local and national progressive groups and held at the University of Nevada, Reno. 

 

Pages