"The plight of Chile's indigenous Mapuche people and their struggle for land rights will come under the spotlight as Pope Francis travels to the country on Monday amid growing tension between the Mapuche and loggers and farmers."
"At 5:20 on Tuesday evening, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke tweeted a photo of himself at the Tallahassee airport with Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, announcing that he had decided, after meeting with Governor Scott, to exempt the state from a new Trump administration plan to open up most of the nation’s coastline to offshore oil drilling."
"The Interior Department has approved a land swap deal that will allow a remote Alaskan village to construct a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, according to local officials. The action effectively overrules wilderness protections that have kept the area off limits to vehicles for decades."
"A former top National Park Service official implicated more than a decade ago for improperly paving the way for the owner of the Washington Redskins to cut down trees on a 2-acre scenic easement along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park is expected to become the agency's next acting director, possibly as soon as next week, National Parks Traveler has learned."
"Seeking to cut its workforce in the new year, the National Park Service is offering its employees voluntary buyout packages as an incentive to get some of them to retire early."
"When John Muir helped establish the National Park Service, he argued that such parks were vital to help people unplug from the world. 'Break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods,' Muir was quoted as saying in 1915. But these days at Yosemite National Park, hikers to Half Dome are likely to encounter people talking on cell phones as they climb to the top."
Long-standing disputes over exploitation of public lands bubble over as the Trump administration advances campaign promises to ease restrictions on energy development. A special TipSheet, part of our 2018 Journalists' Guide to Energy & Environment, has resources for covering public lands-related issues as they play out in the coming year.
"The Trump administration moved Friday to renew leases for a copper and nickel mining operation on the border of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, reversing a decision made in the final weeks of Barack Obama’s tenure in office."
"The glittering diamonds of the Milky Way over the Sawtooth National Recreation Area will be preserved for future stargazers, as the International Dark-Sky Association on Monday approved the nation’s first dark sky reserve."
"The would-be developer of the widely opposed Pebble Mine copper and gold project in salmon-rich southwestern Alaska announced on Thursday it will file its first application for a permit."