Public Lands

Coal Mining Revenue
6:59 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Government Report: Coal Companies Are Pocketing Millions At Taxpayers’ Expense

Heavy equipment moving coal at a mine in Wyoming. A new federal report says taxpayers aren't getting the full value of coal mined on public land.
Credit Katie Campbell

The Federal government is missing out on tens of millions of dollars in revenue from companies that mine coal on public lands. That’s according to a new report released by the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

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Public Lands Management
6:44 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Western States Gearing Up To Debate Public Land Management

Fire burned a significant section of public land north of Featherville in central Idaho. State lawmakers believe fire risk could be better managed if the state managed these lands instead of the federal government.
Credit Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

For some of us public land in the west is a place to camp and recreate. For all of us, these lands are a source of water and the air we breath. That’s especially true in Idaho - where more than half of the land is federally owned and managed.

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Wilderness Budget Cuts
6:33 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Trails Of Trouble On Wild Lands

Volunteers help clean up trees that have blocked some trails in the Frank Church Wilderness.
Jay Krajic

Some federal budget cuts can be found in places you might not be looking -- deep in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. As EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz explains, for hikers and horse packers, frustration is mounting over the state of disrepair of recreational trails on public land.

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Public Lands
6:30 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Western States' Public Lands Fight Comes To Idaho

Ken Ivory addresses Idaho lawmakers on January 21, 2013.
Credit Photo by Aaron Kunz / EarthFix

A fight between western states and the federal government over control of public lands has surfaced in the Northwest. Last year Utah and Arizona lawmakers passed bills requiring the feds to sign public land over to them. Now Idaho lawmakers are discussing whether a similar bill is right for their state.

EarthFix Reporter Aaron Kunz has more.

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Oregon Logging Panel
5:45 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Oregon Governor’s Panel Will Explore Logging Proposals for Railroad Lands

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has created a panel to try to end a stalemate over federal forest lands that once belonged to a corrupt railroad. Amelia Templeton explains.

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Oregon Forest Road Plan
5:52 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Forest Service Drops Plan to Shrink Road Network in Wallowa-Whitman Forest

Forest Service officials in northeast Oregon have announced they will put on hold a plan to close forest roads. Amelia Templeton reports.

The plan was to go into effect this summer. It would have made about half the roads in the Wallowa-Whitman forest off limits to cars and off road vehicles. The goals: protect habitat and create a more efficient road network. But local residents protested.

Mac Huff is a fishing guide in Joseph, Ore. He says closing the roads would create problems for hunters. And make it harder for him to find fuel for his wood stove.

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