Bureau of Land Management

BHA: New plan erodes habitat protections for greater sage grouse

MISSOULA, Mont. – New sage grouse management plans unveiled by the Bureau of Land Management could unravel years of stakeholder collaboration and reduce habitat conservation measures for sagebrush country that have played a major role in keeping the greater sage grouse off the Endangered Species List, according to a news release from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. The BLM plans would…

Study: Recreation on U.S. land generates billions for western states

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — A new study from several wildlife-related groups has found that recreation on U.S. land administered by the Bureau of Land Management land contributes billions of dollars to western states’ economies. The study by Southwick Associates was done on behalf of The Pew Charitable Trusts, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Wildlife Management Institute, Trout Unlimited, Archery Trade Association…

Two more lawsuits challenge proposed mine near Boundary Waters

(Photo by Brian Peterson)MINNEAPOLIS — Environmental groups filed two more lawsuits Monday challenging the Interior Department’s decision to reinstate the federal mineral rights leases for the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. One of the lawsuits was filed by three national groups: The Wilderness Society, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Izaak Walton League of America. The…

Interior Department renews leases for Minnesota mine project

Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness and its partners in the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters plan to challenge the decision in court, Doug Niemela, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. He said the department failed to consider the environmental damage of developing a large mining district on the edge of the Boundary Waters. (U.S. Forest Service photo)MINNEAPOLIS —…

Zinke signs order to expand recreational opportunities

(U.S. Department of the Interior)WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has ordered his agency to expand recreational opportunities on public lands and waterways. An order signed Wednesday directs the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies to develop plans within 90 days that focus on expanding recreational opportunities. The order also directs bureau heads to…

Feds keep proposed Minnesota copper mine plan alive

(Photo by Brian Peterson)ST. PAUL, Minn. — President Donald Trump’s administration has resurrected an effort to build a proposed copper-nickel mine near the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area in northeastern Minnesota. In an opinion published Friday, a top attorney at the U.S. Interior Department concluded that the Bureau of Land Management erred last December when it determined that it had…

What’s a national monument?

The 1906 Antiquities Act, enacted under President Theodore Roosevelt, empowers the president to declare as national monuments any landmarks, structures and other “objects of historic or scientific interest” on land owned or controlled by the federal government. (National Park Service photo)U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending boundary revisions for some national monuments but no eliminations. President Donald Trump ordered…

Little-used Montana trail a modern-day spring destination

Today, the Blackfoot has become a popular trout stream after years of mining pollution was cleared up. The rails have been recycled and a new forest has grown up around the ancient stumps. Thousands of acres of private timberland owned by Plum Creek Timber Co. have been sold to The Nature Conservancy, which has transferred significant chunks to the federal Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service.