U.S. Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management held an online auction Tuesday for oil and gas leases in southeastern Utah. Conservation groups and Native Americans protested drilling in places that are also rich with cultural meaning.

Matthew Allen used to lead the communications team at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Washington headquarters a couple of blocks from the White House.

Then he got demoted.

Montana Legislature

The largest wildfire in the U.S. this year burned in Montana, decimating 423 miles of fertile rangeland, and with it, the livelihoods of many Garfield and Petroleum County ranchers.

Republican State Representative Bill Harris of Winnet was one of them. Harris documented much of the disaster that destroyed his ranchland on his personal Facebook. He’s pointing the finger at a nearby Wilderness Study Area (WSA) managed by the Bureau of Land Management as contributing to overall fire devastation.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke wants to streamline the process for oil and gas development on federal lands. Zinke signed an order Thursday mandating Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease sales be held in each state on at least a quarterly basis.

Zinke noted during a telephone press conference that under the Obama administration BLM fell far short of that legally-mandated limit.

Jackie Yamanaka

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke today announced he lifted the moratorium on federal coal leases.   

The action came after President Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday that included calling on a review of that moratorium.

Federal land managers say at least six sites within Montana's Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument should be eligible for listing as historic places.

The sites were evaluated after a federal court determined the U.S. Bureau of Land Management designated hundreds of miles of roads within the monument without reviewing the potential impacts to historical resources.

(Photo courtesy of Pete Tolton)
(Photo courtesy of Pete Tolton)

Wild places can sometimes get overlooked; certainly by their very nature they're tough to reach, tough to experience.

That's why Billings-based filmmakers Pete Tolton and Charlie Smillie have teamed up with the Montana Wilderness Association to produce a documentary debuting tomorrow that offers viewers a chance to experience the elusive prairie lands of central Montana.

The first public meeting over the future of the federal coal leasing program and possibly charging more to mine is underway at the Casper Events Center.

The doors opened for speaker registration at 8:30 this morning. The meeting is scheduled to conclude at 4 this afternoon. The Bureau of Land Management is live-streaming the Casper meeting.