skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

New BLM rule could help protect America's national parks

play audio
Play

Monday, May 6, 2024   

As critics work to roll back new Bureau of Land Management rules, public lands advocates are defending the agency's move to put conservation uses on equal footing with extraction and development.

Matthew Kirby, senior director of energy and landscape conservation for the National Parks Conservation Association, said the new rules can be used to benefit national parks, for example, by reducing pollution from oil and gas drilling on the 3.3 million acres of BLM-managed mineral rights in eastern Colorado.

"Thousands of feet higher than where the actual drilling is happening, you can go up to Rocky Mountain National Park," Kirby recounted. "You can't even see on some days, (in part) because of pollution that is coming from drilling activities."

The rules also identify conservation tools to restore degraded lands owned by all Americans, and to keep natural landscapes intact. Industry groups have called the rules a land grab. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., have promised to repeal the rules finalized in April, claiming they block access to public lands and subvert the multiple-use requirement under the Federal Land Policy Management Act.

Ninety percent of lands managed by the BLM remain open for oil and gas development. There are more than 31,000 orphaned wells within 30 miles of national parks and the new rules update bonding requirements to prevent more abandoned sites. Kirby noted until now, corporations have run the show.

"Industry was allowed to lock up land for less than the price of a cup of coffee," Kirby asserted. "They could speculate, they could develop, all at the expense of the taxpayer and the public that was no longer actually able to recreate on that land. But thanks to this new rule, we're really on a path to fix that broken system."

The new rule also gives the BLM tools to steer any future oil and gas development away from national parks. More than 80 national park units sit adjacent to public lands managed by the BLM and Kirby argued any development affects parks, connected waterways and wildlife migration corridors.

"Wildlife migrate across borders, water moves across national park borders, air flows in and out," Kirby stressed. "What happens outside of national parks really is critical to national park resources."

Disclosure: The National Parks Conservation Association contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The wells providing water on Santee Tribal lands had manganese levels more than 50 times greater than what is considered safe for adults. Excessively high manganese can cause problems with memory, attention and motor skills. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Members of the Nebraska Santee Sioux Tribe hope a solution to their five-year water ordeal may be on the way. Their tap water has been unusable for …


play sound

Hurricane season is here, and conservationists are shining a light on the role salt marshes play in protecting coastal North Carolina communities…

Social Issues

play sound

This weekend, Father's Day will be tough for children with a dad in jail or prison. More than 200,000 kids in Michigan have had an incarcerated …


Social Issues

play sound

Local election administrators have new guidance from Wisconsin's highest court on alternative early voting sites. A political expert says the timing …

Between 2017 and 2022, Minnesota saw a more than 30% increase in farm acres planted with cover crops. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

When Minnesota farmers watch their crops grow this summer, some will monitor land that has better soil health. It's because of a fairly popular …

Environment

play sound

West Virginia will receive $140 million to clean up legacy pollution in regions decimated by decades of coal mining. The money is part of $725 …

Environment

play sound

The Supreme Court is expected to rule any day now on two cases that could allow judges to more easily overrule federal agencies, which could have big …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021