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    PNS Weekend Update - December 20, 20140 

    Among the stories on our weekend rundown; Cuba and a cyber attack top of mind for President Obama; an update from a state that just got a big boost in the fight against hunger; and no matter the weather your Christmas can still be green.

Public Lands/Wilderness

PHOTO: A new coalition of venture capitalists has formed to encourage more protected public land. Its members say beautiful places with recreational opportunities are attracting entrepreneurs and skilled workers that boost local economies. Photo of Lake Berryessa courtesy U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Dept. of the Interior.

SAN FRANCISCO — There's a link between successful start-ups and the great outdoors - and members of a new national coalition say it's a profitable one that should be encouraged. Some of the investment and venture capital firms in the "Conservation for Economic Growth Coalition" are California ...Read More

PHOTO: New York Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker and Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens presented Gov. Cuomo and his Cabinet with their reports recommending a continued ban on fracking for natural gas. Photo Credit: Office of the Governor.

ALBANY, N.Y. - In a long-awaited announcement, the administration of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday ruled the potential health and environmental risks of fracking for natural gas are too great and not enough is known about them to allow it in New York. In extending a de facto ban on using ...Read More

PHOTO: Small towns and communities in Montana have an economic stake in what happens to the Greater sage-grouse, according to Montana State Rep. Bridget Smith (D-Wolf Point). Photo courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service

WOLF POINT, Mont. - There's cash in Montana's sagebrush that is quite lucrative for rural communities. Bureau of Land Management sagebrush landscapes in Montana and other Western states were connected to more than $1 billion in recreation and tourism spending last year, according to an economic rep ...Read More

PHOTO: A view of the Snoqualmie Valley shows why the area is prized for its beauty, even with its proximity to some of the state's most densely populated areas. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness expansion legislation protects another 22,000 acres of the area. Photo credit: Kevin Geraghty.

SEATTLE - Some new wilderness is coming to the state of Washington as part of a pile of public lands and defense spending bills rolled into one big vote. The legislation, which passed the U.S. Senate on Friday after approval in the House the previous week, adds 22,000 acres to the existing Alpine L ...Read More

PHOTO: The future of Colorado's water supply is at stake as Gov. Hickenlooper considers the draft of the Colorado Water Plan, delivered this week by the Colorado Water Conservation Board. Photo credit: Adrian M. Glasenopp

DENVER - The Colorado Water Plan has been two years in the making by the state Water Conservation Board, and it's now in the hands of Governor John Hickenlooper. The governor received the draft Wednesday in a ceremony at the State Capitol. Nathan Fey, Colorado Stewardship Director with American Whit ...Read More

PHOTO: Macon County fifth- and sixth-grade students gain hands-on education in migration patterns and butterflies at the Tessentee Bottomland Preserve. Photo credit: Land Trust for the Little Tennessee.

FRANKLIN, N.C. - A group of students in one North Carolina community is 'a-flutter' about land conservation, thanks to a tiny winged species. For the past five years, fifth- and sixth-grade students in Macon County have collected data on butterflies at the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee's Tess ...Read More

PHOTO: Stopping fracking on public lands in Nevada is the purpose of a protest planned Tuesday in Reno at the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) public auction of oil and gas leases. Photo credit: BLM.

RENO, Nev. - A protest is planned in Reno today at the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) auction of oil and gas leases that could result in fracking on public lands in Nevada. Dan Patterson, an ecologist with the Center for Biological Diversity, is among those organizing the protest. He says fracki ...Read More

Photo: Outfitters and recreation enthusiasts continue their fight for national monument status for Browns Canyon. Photo courtesy: Mason Cummings

BUENA VISTA, Col. - Browns Canyon has provided the gift of beauty and recreation for centuries - and now outdoor enthusiasts and others want to give the region the protection they believe it deserves. Keith Baker, executive director with the Friends of Browns Canyon, explains why they believe the a ...Read More

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Public Lands/Wilderness by State