Saturday, July 2, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.


SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Public Lands Face New Threats from Climate Change, Drilling


Monday, March 28, 2022   

The use of public lands is back in the spotlight as the war in Ukraine enters its second month and gas prices remain high.

The American Petroleum Institute is pushing to allow more oil and gas drilling on public lands and slash regulations faced by fossil fuel firms. It comes at a time when public lands already face a loss of biodiversity, with the extinction of animal and plant species due to climate change.

John Leshy - professor emeritus at the University of California Hastings College of the Law - has spent much of the past five decades working on public-lands issues. He said one third of the 550 national wildlife refuges are located along the coastlines.

"And many of them are facing inundation as sea levels rise," said Leshy. "The glaciers are disappearing from Glacier National Park. The Joshua trees and the sequoia trees are disappearing from the parks that are named after them."

New Mexico has nearly 23 million acres of America's 600 million acres of public land. That includes hugely popular forests, mountains, deserts, plains, wetlands and shorelines.

Leshy is a former solicitor of the U.S. Interior Department and the author of 'Our Common Ground: A History of America's Public Lands.'

The National Park Service director has said he and other officials are committed to boosting the roles Native American tribes can play in managing public lands around the U.S. Leshy said that's important in areas where indigenous people have have deep cultural connections to the land.

"When Native Americans were dispossessed, they did not relinquish their cultural and ancestral ties to these lands," said Leshy. "And so, since World War II, Native Americans have become much powerfully advocating for having more say about their ancestral lands."

According to Leshy, public lands have historically tended to unify the nation, despite some histories that suggest public lands were the product of a "land grab" by the national government.

"Overwhelmingly, all of these lands were set aside and protected with the consent and the support of local people," said Leshy. "We did this to ourselves because we wanted to, and it's been a huge success story."

get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …


The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …

The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …


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