Join the fight to access your public lands
- 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.
WHAT WE DO
In order to hunt or fish, you need a place to do it, and Open Country is committed to sportsmen's access—getting it, keeping it, defending it, and celebrating it—so that you always have that place.
- Rangers for the Forest Service, National Park Service and other land management agencies catch the brunt of everything from hostile language to threats with weapons to domestic terrorism, says the report, breathlessly titled "Federal Land Management Agencies, Additional Actions Needed to Address Facility Security Assessment Requirements." The investigation was requested by Congress and reviewed threats against public land managers from 2013-17.
- 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.
- DOI Secretary David Bernhardt said his motivation was to increase opportunities for outdoor recreation, particularly for those not hale and hardy enough to pedal traditional mountain bikes. Fair enough. I have older friends who love the freedom their new e-bikes offer. Let’s recap. On private land, it’s up to the land owners to regulate access on their property. The DOI order applies to public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (with about 250 million acres) and, National Parks (with about 85 million acres). It does NOT apply to national forests, which are managed by the US Forest Service under the Department of Agriculture.
- 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.