Three days before Christmas, the Trump administration quietly issued a decision that allows the renewal of mining leases to move forward near Minnesota's cherished Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Efforts to undermine the Roadless Rule most directly imperil the Tongass National Forest, which contains some of America's oldest trees, produces salmon that help sustain local fishing communities and includes habitat for grizzly bears, moose, wolves and much more.
President Trump and Congress have been waging a war on conservation all year—from choosing a cast of climate deniers to steer federal agencies, to repealing protections for Bears Ears, to helping his congressional cronies open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. But we're not giving up.
A bill introduced by Utah Rep. Chris Stewart that would effectively codify Trump's cuts to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument received a subcommittee hearing Dec. 12. Similar legislation affecting Bears Ears has also been introduced.
Bill introduced by Massachusetts congressman fits into the larger, burgeoning threat of public land takeovers or sell-offs, which has swept through state legislatures and recently established a toehold in Washington, DC.
The National Park Service will offer four entrance fee-free days in 2018, down from 10 this year, part of the Trump administration's pattern of reducing public lands access under the pretense of balancing the budget.