- The national forests around California’s Lake Tahoe are the latest flashpoint in the debate over how land and wildlife managers treat electric bikes, also called “e-bikes,” on public land.Historically, e-bikes were considered motorized vehicles and had traditionally not been allowed on non-motorized trails on public lands such as national forests and national parks.
- The Tongass National Forest in Alaska is getting most of the publicity around a pending exemption from the Roadless Rule, which prevents new road building on certain Forest Service land. But in the Lower 48, Utah officials might have found a working compromise through a Shared Stewardship Pact with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- September's long-anticipated repeal of the 2015 "Waters of the U.S." (WOTUS) rule may prove to be a subdued preamble compared to the legal and regulatory battle set to erupt this fall and reverberate into 2020 and beyond. The Trump administration is expected to complete step two in its WOTUS repeal by finalizing its replacement for the Obama Era rule by the end of the year.
- State lands are a consequence of our national independence. In 1785, fresh from the Revolutionary War victory but prior to ratification of our federal constitution, a committee of founders fretted about how to parcel out the millions of acres of land in what was then known as the Northwest—primarily the Ohio River Valley and its tributaries. The Land Act defined how settlers could obtain this “vacant” land, establishing counties that were divided into 6-square-mile townships. Each township was further divided into square-mile sections, 36 per township. Each of these sections could be sold or granted to qualifying settlers, or kept in the public domain to be used for a defined public purpose. West of the Mississippi, it became common that two sections in each township, 16 and 36, were granted to the state as trust lands.
- 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.