Public lands | KUNC

Public lands

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.

Wayne Hsieh / Flickr

Everyone knows that living in the Rockies can get expensive. Headwaters Economics wanted to know why. The non-profit published new research this week that examines what causes housing to become so expensive in places where outdoor recreation is a main economic driver.

On a recent cold and rainy morning at Zion National Park in Southern Utah, Andrew Smith and Blake Cubria throw a blue tarp on top of their tent to keep the water out. They’re in the midst of an impromptu vacation out West that began after they both lost their restaurant jobs in Chicago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

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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.”

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

This summer, the National Park Service came out with a policy allowing electric bicycles in the same places as traditional bikes. A new federal lawsuit is challenging that rule.

Reintroduced legislation incentivizing more renewable energy projects on public lands is getting rare bipartisan support.

Water and wildlife in the nation's public forests are slowly being poisoned by insecticides and other chemicals used in illegal marijuana operations, say forest police and researchers. They warn that the potential environmental damage could last generations.

Many of the grows are the work of highly organized drug cartels that take advantage of the forests' thick canopy to help hide their operations. Some sites go undetected for years.


If you're anything like me, you've never been on an e-bike before. You might not even know what it looks like. That's why I make a visit to a local bike shop in downtown Laramie to find out what all the fuss is about. Electric bicycles, or e-bikes, as they're known, are having a moment. Right now they're the fastest growing segment of the country's bike market and that market could get even hotter now they're allowed on some public lands.

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