Lawmakers are bowing to special interest groups, attempting to forward the sale or transfer of public lands including wilderness areas, wildlife refuges and national forests to state and local governments.
The Bureau of Land Management is instituting a new Master Leasing Plan for an area outside Dinosaur National Monument. Large areas of wild lands in northwest Colorado will now be protected, but the new plan also opens up several sensitive areas to oil and gas drilling.
Since its approval by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, the Antiquities Act has been used on a bipartisan basis by 16 presidents, serving as an important contingency plan for when Congress is unable to act swiftly to protect public lands.
A recent independent analysis uncovered a void in the nation’s efforts to address global climate change: currently no plan exists to account for and manage greenhouse gas emissions created by energy development on public lands.