The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is America's last big, pristine and wild place, and it is facing challenges greater than at any time in more than a decade. When the time comes to decide its future, we must be sure lawmakers don't repeat the mistake they made this week.
A Wilderness Society report finds that in a little over a century of statehood, New Mexico has liquidated about 30 percent of the land originally granted to it—nearly 4 million acres—and sold it to cattle ranchers, oil and gas companies, railroads and other development interests.
In a preview of what could happen with offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean, an underwater natural gas pipeline has been leaking in Alaska since December, and no repair is expected until late April, at the earliest.
As part of a historically low domestic spending proposal, President Trump wants to cut funding for the Department of the Interior by about 12 percent, selling out public lands and severely undermining the booming outdoor recreation economy. Additionally, Trump's budget would slash the Environmental Protection Agency budget by 31 percent, eliminating thousands of jobs from that agency.
For years, the Sonoran Desert National Monument has been at the center of a debate about recreational target shooting on public lands, which can damage archaeological sites, plants and the landscape itself (not to mention the threat posed to other park visitors).
The current Congress' first attack on the Antiquities Act came in the form of a House subcommittee hearing on the creation of marine monuments, where anti-public lands lawmakers argued to greatly curb presidents' ability to protect parks for future generations.