• The Bush administration released new oil shale regulations on November 18th and, true to form, put the cart before the horse. The administration has set the “rules of the road” for oil shale, which are supposed to ensure development proceeds in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. Such a move not only ignores the wishes of two western governors, federal and state agency officials, local communities affected and numerous members of Congress, but places political expediency ahead of good governance.

  • Signaling a refreshing new direction in White House leadership, President-elect Barack Obama today indicated that global warming will be one of his top priorities as president. In a video address to a bipartisan group of U.S. governors and officials from governments around the globe who were meeting in Los Angeles, Obama promised the group that his presidency “will mark a new chapter in America’s leadership on climate change that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in the process.” The president-elect pledged to:

  • I’ve worn out more than a few pairs of boots over the years tromping around Idaho’s backcountry. I suspect I’ll wear out before I see all of this scenic land.

  • On a recent vacation in California, my family and I decided to venture over to the San Diego Zoo. It was a beautiful day and I was raring to get in and learn about all the fascinating creatures. Just inside the entrance of the zoo was a display illustrating the recently extinct species. A sobering feeling came over me as I looked over the list. These species were gone forever…and that was it.

  • The last time my father and I took our semi-annual voyage into a yet-unexplored-by-us wilderness area, I was in a foul mood. The high stress of my job as a political reporter in Washington, D.C. had made me not the best of traveling companions. Yet we could not have picked a more pristine area, replete with a black bear that tore open our food bag while it hung in a pine tree, a portage trail where the howls of timber wolves echoed, and a tiny mouse that seemed to think our empty dessert tin was its new home.

  • If you’ve ever savored the flavor of wild Alaska salmon, there’s a very good chance that salmon came from southwestern Alaska’s Bristol Bay, where the cold, clean waters of the eastern Bering Sea generate the largest sockeye salmon run in the world.

    If you’re a fan of this fish, it might come as a surprise, then, to learn that the world’s largest wild salmon runs are at serious risk.

    Despite its status as a world-renowned fishing ground, Bristol Bay has recently come under threat from off-shore drilling and mining proposals.

  • Known for the last wild herd of bison, bubbling mud pots, wolves, and geysers, Yellowstone National Park is an extraordinary place and very unique to America’s geography. But protecting the special nature of this spectacular park has been a battle.

    Thankfully, after years of attack by an administration bent on increasing the roar of snowmobiles, a federal court judge has finally said its time to protect the park.

  • Throughout the past eight years, the Bush administration has treated our country’s wild lands as if they belong to industry.

    Through a series of short-cut measures and regulations that have cut science and the public out of decision making, the administration has consistently rolled back environmental protections and sharply favored industrial use and exploitation of our wild lands above all other public concerns.

    And they’re not done yet.

  • As predicted, the Bush Administration continues to push through last-minute regulations and policy changes detrimental to America’s public lands.

    The latest is a flawed new wilderness stewardship policy for the National Wildlife Refuge System, released yesterday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service without any opportunity for public comment. Among other things, the new policy exempts the 80 percent of America’s refuges located in Alaska from wilderness review requirements, and totally ignores the very real threats posed to refuges by global warming.

  • If you’re from Seattle, or just a traveler who loves the great outdoors, you’ll be happy to know one more place in Washington state will remain an oasis of wildlands — even with the passage of time.

    In June 2008, thanks to dozens of committed groups and individuals, Washington’s Wild Sky Wilderness Area became the state’s first designated wilderness area in more than twenty years.