Public Lands


The park police typically help keep the peace at urban monuments, but the Department of Interior is sending a group to the U.S.-Mexico border to chase smugglers. Sort of.

From a climber pitching in after Hurricane Maria to athletes advocating for public lands

There’s a common misconception that black people don’t love wild places. Latria Graham, a southerner with deep connections to farms, rivers, and forests, says the problem isn’t desire but access—and a long history of laws and customs that have whitewashed our finest public lands.

Last December, when the Trump administration announced its decision to shrink Bears Ears National Monument, a crack team of Native American attorneys armed themselves with a lawsuit that ensured tribal voices will lead the legal battle to overturn it. Abe Streep reports on a historic case that will reverberate for generations.

A new Outdoor Industry Association report details outdoor rec spending by congressional district. Lawmakers should take note.

It’s All Yours features mountain athletes reflecting on why they stand up for national forests. 

Now you can be part of trail history by helping put signs up along America's often-overlooked (but perhaps most beautiful) thru-hike

That's just business as usual in the Trump administration. But despite the interior secretary's asinine comments, there may yet be hope for ground-up change.

For decades, park leaders have predicted that swarms of tourists could ruin public lands. Is anyone heeding their advice?

Like many beautiful, accessible natural attractions, Arizona's Horseshoe Bend has become too popular for its own good. Is it too late to protect it from hordes of Instagram obsessives?

The clothing company has, once again, come out against the Trump Administration for its handling of public lands

The Secretary of the Interior's idea to support public lands with oil and mining leases isn't just wrongheaded—the numbers don't add up.

Measures in the federal government's new spending bill should help the Forest Service manage fires, but there's still more to be done.

Ryan Zinke is using parts of an Obama administration–era idea that would've drastically changed the DOI. Now it's causing him trouble.

Voters have the power to fix the public lands crisis, but first we need get smarter about how we fund open spaces

Internal documents suggest Utah and federal officials failed to take into account Native concerns and input as they downsized the national monument

New "vision cards" issued by the department charged with overseeing public lands for recreation and extraction are heavy on the latter

On March 21, the Department of Interior will hold the largest auction of offshore leases in U.S. history, including all unleased areas on the Gulf of Mexico’s outer continental shelf. But do energy extractors actually want such land and waters?

While political and legal battles rage over the future of our national monuments, one of the most important things you can do is go see them—and then share your experiences widely. Here are some of our favorite adventures. 

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation works with local property owners and agencies to buy land and turn it over to the public

The parent company owns outdoor brands like CamelBak and Giro, as well as Savage Arms, a manufacturer of AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles

At USU, students in the country’s first program for gear designers aren’t just learning how to sew a bestselling jacket. They’re being groomed to lead the industry’s next big political and environmental fights.

The real fight to protect America’s public lands isn’t in Utah. It’s right outside our biggest cities.

For more than a decade, the educator and filmmaker has been championing women from marginalized communities who are making a difference in the outdoors

Lies, damned lies, and "fantasy" White House budget proposals

From Tyax Adventures, Switchback Entertainment, and MBTA, and Norco Bicylces, Respect takes a critical look at backcountry mountain biking.

From filmmaker Justin Clifton and Chris Cresci, A Line In The Sand is an animated video which illustrates the value and power of public lands.

The Alaska senator is gambling with America's most pristine lands—and winning

Shrinking the national monuments was just the tip of the iceberg

Companies focused on resource extraction now have access to huge chunks of the former national monument

Seventeen adventurers three dogs, and a film crew descended on southeast Utah to run a 250-mile relay race across the desert to honor the native messengers who used to travel this landscape on foot.

These foundational principles are more than 50 years old. We have three suggested updates for 2018.

From OARS and the Sierra Club, Return From Desolation follows war veteran Garrett Eaton’s quest to conquer PTSD.

Would you a take a year of your life to get outside, work hard on public lands, and learn some skills, for a minimal stipend? Some members of Congress—from both parties—are betting you might.

Brands, activists, and politicians gathered at the start of the Outdoor Retailer trade show to rally around public lands

One of our favorite new packs pays homage to the Forest Service—and looks good doing it

With his office's insult-laden response to the resignation of the NPS Advisory Board, the secretary proves that, like his boss, he's not above mudslinging

The pro climber caught flak on Instagram for straying into politics—but he says it's essential for athletes to speak out

From filmmaker Taylor Walker and photographers Chris Shane, Jamie Walter, and Cait Bourgeault Monumental shares their journey circumnavigating Maine's newest national monument Katahdin Woods and Waters.

The interior secretary's idea to organize public land by watershed was a great idea when it was first voiced a century and a half ago. But it won't work today.

A semi-detailed list of everything we know (and we still have plenty of questions) about possible public land closures starting tomorrow if the lights go out for the feds

We care about public lands, and that's why we're joining a discussion about how to preserve them at the Outdoor Retailer show

EnergyNet, an online auction company from Amarillo, Texas, is set to make a fortune from oil and gas leases under the Trump administration. And good luck finding a way to protest.

As the debate over the national monuments festers, Americans need to get out and use these lands

Within the understaffed offices of the DOI, is any work actually getting done?

Short film captures the former national monument’s unique value

Part of the former monument could be designated Wilderness—and you have a say

The intensifying war between Republicans and Patagonia could now move to Capitol Hill—exactly where the outdoor industry could make the most impact

The Story of Place from The Grand Canyon Trust follows filmmaker Ace Kvale, writer Craig Childs, and Zuni tribe member Jim Enote. They’re on a journey to help elucidate this region’s cultural significance in order to protect it from resource extraction. 

The do’s and don'ts of securing the outdoor-rec vote

The charities suing the Trump administration to save Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments—and how you can help

The GOP tax-reform package will save companies billions. But it likely came at the cost of Bears Ears, Grand Staircase-Escalante, and ANWR.

Did Donald Trump "steal" public land when he shrunk two Utah national monuments on Monday? Depends on who you ask.

When Patagonia, REI, and the North Face stood up to Trump’s national-monument shrinkage, did they earn more goodwill than they lost? We reviewed social comments to hear what you had to say.

By slashing the Utah monuments without listening to the sovereign indigenous voices, the secretary of the interior regressed to a time when the feds oppressed and disrespected the tribes

In the last 18 months, long-simmering disputes have boiled over amid claims of trespassing, political meddling, government bullying, and retaliation. Some worry that what’s happening there may harbinger what’s to come on public land across the nation. It’s enough to call the situation, well, you know.

REI and the North Face have joined the Ventura-based gear maker in standing up for our public lands

The outdoor industry has been a fierce advocate for the now-decimated national monument—but it may have been too little, too late

An in-depth look at the GOP's full-scale assault on our 640 million acres of public land

Two bipartisan bills show how the left and the right can converge on public land policy

Early in his political career, the interior secretary irked fellow Republicans with his willingness to stand up for conservation. Things have changed, and whether you love or hate his ideas, know this: he’s one of the few Trump-era cabinet secretaries with the juice to make things happen, and he’s got the boss’s back.

Donald Trump just reduced Bears Ears by nearly 85 percent. Here's what you're saying.

Arguments against opening the last great American wilderness to oil companies tend to get emotional, but the best argument may be the cost

A new report card ranks the Mountain West based on access, recreation, and responsible energy development

The decision to amend national monuments has roots in pro-energy, anti-conservation politics that has been simmering for 40 years

Zinke's strategic plan for the next four years shows no intention of addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our public lands

The GOP doesn't think the feds should oversee our national heritage. Here's why they're wrong.

On Friday, the President told Senator Orrin Hatch that he planned to downsize two Utah national monuments. Here's why nothing's likely to happen soon.

We raise $3 billion every year for conservation, then we go out on those public lands and help manage wildlife populations—for free

Conservationists have just a small voice in the Trump Administration. The Democratic Conservation Alliance wants to buy a bigger one.

A leaked five-year strategic plan has zero mention of “climate change” or “diversity,” marking a major pivot away from its predecessor

From Your Forests Your Future and More Than Just Parks, this animated video illustrates what national forests are and how you can get involved.

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—one of our most threatened landscapes—may be opened up to drilling, and opponents are taking to Instagram to protest

The housing crisis in the Mountain West has gotten so bad that some folks are happy to rent a clean piece of pavement

The National Park Service findings, released last week, are troubling. The reality is even worse.

The longtime DOI employee says he was forced out because he spoke up about the risk climate change poses to Alaskans. We caught up with him to talk the state of the Interior, how his colleagues are faring, and what he'd say to Secretary Ryan Zinke if given the chance.

How a group of young activists changed the conversation at a public-lands conference—and where the outdoor industry goes from here

The end goal: stop the environment from getting in the way of oil and gas extraction

In honor of Public Lands Day, we picked the places we couldn't live without