Public Lands


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Acadia, in Maine, woos visitors with hikes that overlook the Atlantic Ocean, bike rides along historic carriage roads, and some awesome lobster rolls

On June 21, the BLM, U.S. Forest Service, and Five Tribes of the Intertribal Coalition signed a cooperative management agreement for Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument. It marks a shift in our history at a time when we’ve never needed to collaborate more.

We’re for an official mandate: make this the season of long weekends. To help you out, we found the most fun new summer adventures.

Almost 9.5 million acres in 13 western states are permanently inaccessible to the general public because they're surrounded by private land. BLM director Tracy Stone-Manning wants to keep chipping away at them, acre by acre.

Outside’s ethics guru ponders what exactly is up for grabs on public lands

Mother Nature’s most bizarre wonders are created by all-real natural effects

The American Southwest hasn’t been this dry in 1,200 years. The region’s water supply—and entire energy infrastructure—is at stake.

Our national parks are overcrowded, especially in summer. One solution is to create more of them. Here are the regions that get our votes.

This cliff-hugging stretch of U.S Highway 550 is dotted with scenic mountain towns filled with hiking trails, brewpubs, and hot springs

It’s not easy being a progressive who works for a middle-of-the-road president. Mark Sundeen sizes up the interior secretary’s first year in office—which has been a disappointment to climate-change activists—and decides she’s most likely to make a mark through a historic reckoning over the U.S. government’s shameful running of Native American boarding schools.

The ‘wiwinu,’ or huckleberry, is a traditional food for the Indigenous Warm Springs tribe of north-central Oregon

Today the Tongass is the last national forest in the United States where old-growth trees are clear-cut

Yes, things are very bad, but there are some glimmers of hope for making meaningful progress

BLM’s first confirmed director in five years talks about access, equity, and the future of public land in the West

Whether you want to explore public or private lands, these maps demonstrate landownership lines for the entire U.S.

Visit 13 of America’s best-loved national parks on this cross-country national-park train loop

Pursue your favorite activities with color-coded trails in Gaia GPS’s U.S. Forest Service roads and trails layer

The past year showed us all that having access to the outdoors is essential for our health and well-being. It also magnified the inequities inherent in that access. For 2021’s Best Towns package, we chose 13 of the country’s most diverse places and evaluated them according to the factors that matter today: sustainability, affordability, and outdoor equity. Here are the cities of tomorrow.

President Biden just restored the national monument’s boundaries. Now it’s time for deeper healing and restorative justice for the region’s Indigenous people.

Meet the companies making rad products and empowering communities

Three days before Indigenous People’s Day, President Biden reversed the largest attack on public lands in recent history

A few years ago, I was a vocal proponent of the outdoor industry incorporating Indigenous land acknowledgments as standard business practice. As it’s become more common, my perspective has evolved.

And what it means for the future of America’s public lands

OBJ got a behind-the-scenes look at the grand opening of Public Lands, the new retail concept from Dick's Sporting goods, in Pennsylvania

Can I cut switchbacks? What about smoking on the trail? And what do I do with all those rocks?

Knowledgeable and friendly rangers aren’t just found in our national parks

Public lands have become more trodden and restrictive, but the pandemic-era craziness might not last

The nonprofit Native Skywatchers has spent more than a decade collecting and preserving Indigenous star knowledge. Now organizations like NASA and the NPS are joining the movement.

Our ethics columnist weighs in on balancing conservation and enjoyment

Deschutes National Forest offers year-round adventure to a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts

In ‘Camping Grounds,’ Phoebe S.K. Young reminds us that sleeping outdoors is far more than just a recreational hobby

A few choice words on how to not be an A-hole on the trail

In this episode of Straight Talk, Todd Spaletto reveals new details about Public Lands, the new conservation retail concept launching from Dick's Sporting Goods this summer

Dispersed camping is getting less dispersed. Our ethics columnist weighs in on whether you need to share.

Here’s how President Biden plans to address climate change, pollution, and public lands in the greatest detail we’ve seen so far

We need more access to public lands. Reclaiming damaged landscapes like old mines and former nuclear sites can be a powerful part of the answer.

A shortage of places to camp is hurting the environment and limiting diversity in the outdoors. But there are some innovative solutions on the table.

A wild place—and an American ideal—are heading for destruction. We can stop it now.

Pet adoptions have spiked during the pandemic. Now is the time to change outdoor dog culture for the benefit of people, public lands, wildlife, and the dogs themselves. 

This is just the kickoff to a ten-year plan to protect more land, water, and wildlife

The more we learn an incomplete fairytale of Indigenous peoples and our history in this country, the more we perpetuate acts of ethnocide, like the ones we’ve seen in recent weeks in southern Utah

Your bucket list should go beyond national parks. This decision tree will help you find lesser known locations with half the crowds.

Our country’s open spaces are a sanity-saving antidote for this writer

The new secretary of the interior shares her plans to listen to historically underrepresented communities and address deferred maintenance projects—plus, what makes a national park her favorite

The upshot of only traveling domestically for the past year? We’ve gotten to know our 615 million acres of federal public lands better than ever. And with new parks and designations on the horizon, there will be even more ways to get off the beaten path for adventure.

With the stroke of a pen, the secretary of the interior just undid most of Trump’s harmful energy policies

A new ruling calls into question previous regulations and norms around film and photography on these spaces

Permits, education, and increased fees are all on the table as possible solutions

For most Americans, the naming of a secretary of the interior is of little consequence. However, as a Navajo man, who holds this position has defined much of my life, and the recent appointing of Deb Haaland marks a groundbreaking moment.

Republican senators used the hearing to air conspiracy theories, lie, and point fingers at Biden nominee for issues they themselves are responsible for

Despite rhetoric from Republicans, the shift toward renewable energy actually brings substantial, nationwide economic benefits—and it'll help the oil and gas industry, too

In one fell swoop, President Biden is undoing his predecessor's most harmful work on public lands, climate change, clean air and water, and environmental justice

The end of the Trump administration can't come soon enough for our climate and public lands. Thankfully, there are a series of actions our new president can immediately take to begin undoing the damage.

There's no better way to celebrate these holidays than by exploring our public lands

The 35th generation New Mexican will oversee public lands, national parks, Native American affairs, and more

In the spell of a week, a mysterious monolith appeared in the Utah desert and was subsequently removed by some slackline bros. The saga has raised more questions than answers.

The sporting goods giant will open two locations of a new outdoor concept, Public Lands, next year, the company's outgoing CEO told investors last week

In its final months, Trump's Department of the Interior shows its true colors by rushing through drilling leases in Alaska and rewriting major components of the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act

Her essays on the challenges African Americans face in the outdoors spurred an outpouring of questions from readers. This is her response.

With a key list of Land and Water Conservation Fund projects missing, political subterfuge threatens the bipartisan legislative achievement

The Conservation Alliance has ended its business with longtime financial partner Bank of America, divesting all funds over concerns about the bank's lack of environmental commitment

Even in traditionally conservative states like Montana and Wyoming, no single issue unites centrist voters in 2020 more than public-lands protection. That's one reason Montana Republican senator Steve Daines has spent the past 18 months trying to convince voters he's a reliable conservationist. Critics say it's mere "greenwashing," but his success may decide the balance of power in Washington.

Keep warm this winter by harvesting fuel yourself

The villainous BLM boss appears to have survived a court ouster, further threatening Trump's oil agenda

Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate for governor, threatens the state's unique angler-access regulations

Last month, a federal judge ordered William Perry Pendley to vacate his post at the Bureau of Land Management. The decision had "no impact whatsoever" on his position, Pendley said.

Our 62 Parks Traveler explores miles of hiking trails and one of the largest remaining mixed-grass prairie ecosystems in the country at South Dakota's Wind Cave, the 21st stop on her journey to visit every U.S. national park.

After running the Bureau of Land Management for more than a year without Senate confirmation, Pendley has been ordered to surrender his position

A federal court just ruled that the BLM's leader was serving illegally, with plans to reconvene next week to consider if all of his actions were illegal, too

Southern Civil War symbols have been a flash point in towns and cities for years, but at places like the Gettysburg battlefield and Arlington National Cemetery—which are run by the Park Service and the Pentagon—there's a new, escalating conflict over monuments that honor the Lost Cause

Two years ago, Latria Graham wrote an essay about the challenges of being Black in the outdoors. Countless readers reached out to her, asking for advice on how to stay safe in places where nonwhite people aren’t always welcome. She didn't write back, because she had no idea what to say. In the aftermath of a revolutionary spring and summer, she responds.

Hit the road for a memorable summer road trip with these extra precautions

William Perry Pendley is finally up for Senate confirmation. Here's a reminder of why he is not up to the job.

The American Museum of Natural History is taking down its memorial to Theodore Roosevelt, and the hunting world should take note

During a week of historic decisions, the Supreme Court decided that an energy company can drill under the Appalachian Trail

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