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public lands

The Senate confirmation hearing for Deb Haaland, nominated to lead the Interior Department, began Tuesday. If confirmed, she'll be the nation's first Indigenous cabinet secretary and oversee federal public lands management and tribal affairs.

An image of a Nevada National Guard member in a parking lot.
Lucia Starbuck / This is Reno

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021.

The Biden administration is considering an increase in royalty rates on oil, gas and coal development on public lands for the first time in more than a century.

 


A close-up image of a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021.


Vanessa Chavarriaga loves to be outside, whether it's floating down a river in the desert or ice skating on a frozen alpine lake. And when she posts photos of her adventures, she includes information about where exactly she was.

Last week, the Bureau of Land Management held its first oil and gas lease sales in months, netting more than $8 million from drillers eyeing public lands primarily in New Mexico.


President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed the Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan bill being hailed as the biggest public lands and conservation legislation in a generation.

Broken pavement on a path at Yellowstone National Park.
Jacob W. Frank / National Park Service

A bill to permanently fund conservation efforts and reduce maintenance backlogs across public lands will soon be up for a vote in the U.S. Senate.

An image of a single oil derrick situated in the open spaces and mountains of Utah.
Bureau of Land Management

A federal report out this week shows that the Bureau of Land Management has more than halved the time spent reviewing oil and gas drilling permits, a reflection of how the agency's priorities have shifted under the Trump administration.

A landscape photo with a paved road on the left side and gravel, sagebrush and hills on the right side.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR

The Truckee Meadows Public Land Management Act, formerly known as the Washoe County Lands Bill, is back before Congress. It would allow federal land in Nevada to be sold to local government for development and conservation projects. The proposal has received support from the cities of Reno and Sparks, as well as Washoe County, but it has also faced public criticism.

A new government watchdog report published Wednesday says taxpayers are shouldering the burden of cleaning up the nation’s thousands of abandoned hardrock mines on public lands.

The Bureau of Land Management’s plan to move its headquarters out west is costing the agency around half the employees asked to make the move, according to a new report from federal watchdog Government Accountability Office.


Federal lands are much better at reducing habitat loss and protecting endangered species than private lands, according to a new study out this week by researchers at Tufts University and the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife.

An image of oil drills on public lands.
Bureau of Land Management

On the 100th anniversary of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, the nonpartisan group Taxpayers for Common Sense published a report Tuesday calling for an increase in the royalty rate on publicly owned oil and gas.

Listen to this story here.

After congressional Democrats voted this week to give one of their own the power to subpoena the Trump administration, U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt dismissed the move as a “witch hunt.”

Updated 2:24 p.m. MST 2/6/2020

In the face of ongoing litigation from tribes and conservation groups, the Trump administration has finalized plans to expand drilling, mining and grazing across southern Utah — including within the former bounds of Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments. 

New legislation introduced in the U.S. House Thursday would make it easier for conservation groups to remove cattle and sheep from federal lands. 

The Trump administration has spent the past month announcing sweeping changes that could benefit ranchers on public lands, including a proposal to overhaul grazing regulations for the first time in 25 years. 

Many ranchers are applauding President Donald Trump after he announced an overhaul of the nation’s bedrock environmental law on Thursday. 

After a long hiatus, a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s 2017 decision to rescind regulations on hydraulic fracturing on public lands is moving forward. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is scheduled to hear oral arguments in January after prominent conservation groups, including the Sierra Club, filed suit in 2018.

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