- On Thursday, September 12, in Washington D.C., Administrator, Andrew Wheeler of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), <a href="https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-us-army-repeal-2015-rule-defining-waters-united-states-ending-regulatory-patchwork">announced a repeal of the 2015 Obama-era Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule</a>.
- There are 16.05 million landlocked public acres in the 11 Western states. This week onX and TRCP revealed that 6.35 million acres of state lands are inaccessible, which joined their 2018 findings that 9.52 million acres of federal land are similarly landlocked. Hunters and anglers must seek and receive permission from at least one private landowner to reach these publicly-owned and funded lands.
- States like Idaho, Wyoming and Montana all have large state holdings of trust lands – and have policies that generally allow the public to hunt on most of those lands. In Montana, for example, two-thirds of the state’s 4.76 million acres of trust land are open to public hunting, according to the Denver Post. Colorado, however, does things its own way. A way that has historically left hunters short.
- At nearly 17 million acres, the Tongass covers the southeastern panhandle of Alaska, islands, fjords, snowcapped peaks and lush rainforests. It is by far the largest national forest in the system. Creatures like whales and bald eagles that are rare in much of coastal North America, remain abundant here.
- Bipartisan Group of Senators Aims to Fully Support the Land and Water Conservation Fund, The White House Proposes Gutting the FundThat “piggy bank” is the Land & Water Conservation Fund, which for more than 50 years has helped fund fishing access sites, public land purchases and conservation easement that protect working forest lands. Although the law lapsed in 2018, Congress reauthorized it in 2019, and this time made it permanent.
- In 1936, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, a 2.25-million-acre refuge (roughly the size of Yellowstone National Park) for bighorns, bighorn hunters, and other wildlife enthusiasts, at the height of the Great Depression. When the government created what would become the Nevada Test and Training Range, about 846,000 acres of the refuge became dominated by military war games. Today, the military is asking Congress to take another bite out of the refuge and block public access to 225,000 acres—including the lion’s share of the Sheep Mountain Range.
- On March 12, 2019, President Trump signed Senate Bill 47, better known as the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act, into law, which immediately and permanently reinstates the Land and Water Conservation Fund after lawmakers allowed it to expire in 2018, and places specific provisions on public land and water to safeguard it for future generations.