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Interior Secretary Deb Haaland speaks at the screening of a documentary on a former secretary, Arizona native Stewart Udall, who supporters credit with pushing a range of environmental gains during his tenure.

A new documentary - “Stewart Udall and the Politics of Beauty” - paints the former Interior secretary, who died in 2010, as a uniting force revered for pushing forward the environmentalist movement in addition to promoting desegregation and tribal sovereignty. Read more»

U.S. President Joe Biden signed a raft of executive orders to launch his administration, many aimed at reversing decisions by his predecessor, including a decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord; reversing the process of leaving the World Health Organization; ending the ban on entries from mostly Muslim-majority countries; bolstering environmental protections; and strengthening the fight against COVID-19.

President Joe Biden's plan to protect 30% of U.S. land and water, over 720 million acres, by 2030 - what’s become known as the “30 by 30 plan” - has lofty ambitions, but what’s happening on the ground tells a different story of how it might play out. Read more»

Eagletrail Mountains Wilderness, an area west of Phoenix managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Republicans on the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday previewed their objections to the Biden administration’s still-unreleased “30 by 30 plan” to conserve 30% of U.S. land and water by 2030, calling it “the radical 30 by 30 land grab initiative.” Read more»

A Bureau of Land Management sign near Elbow Canyon Road and Lime Kiln Canyon Road near Mesquite, Nevada.

President Joe Biden intends to nominate National Wildlife Federation senior adviser and veteran Montana Democrat Tracy Stone-Manning to direct the Bureau of Land Management, an individual familiar with the process confirmed to States Newsroom Wednesday. Read more»

Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in Northern Arizona.

In a preview of the arguments likely to be repeated as the Biden administration and Congress work toward conservation goals, Democrats on a U.S. House panel Tuesday outlined what they say is a need for aggressive action on climate. Read more»

Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., would be first Native American to run a Cabinet-level agency if confirmed by the Senate. But senators from coal and oil states have challenged her position on fossil fuels during her confirmation hearing.

In a bitter and at times high-decibel round of questioning at her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Interior nominee Rep. Deb Haaland again fielded questions from Senate Republicans from oil and gas-producing states about the Biden administration’s energy policies. If confirmed by the Senate, Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo, would run the $21 billion agency that oversees more than 450 million acres of public land. Read more»

Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., in a photo from 2019, would be first Native American to run a Cabinet-level agency if confirmed by the Senate. But senators from coal and oil states challenged her position on fossil fuels during the first day of her confirmation hearing.

While Senate Republicans used the Interior confirmation hearing for Rep. Debra Haaland to air their grievances about the Biden administration’s energy policies, supporters at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing focused mostly on the historic nature of the nomination. Read more»

Under the Trump administration’s rule, each of these fixtures can produce up to 2.5 gallons of water per minute from each separate nozzle. Prior law limited the entire device to 2.5 gallons per minute.

President Trump has turned efficiency standards into symbols of intrusive government. His latest target: showerheads. Read more»

A protected Saguaro cactus stands taller than the 30-foot steel bollard border wall erected by the Trump administration which cuts through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona.

President-elect Joe Biden made a campaign promise to stop building Donald Trump’s border wall. But how will the incoming administration will repair the damage — environmental, cultural and political — the wall’s already done? Read more»

El Jefe, one of the few wild jaguars in the United States.

In 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated 764,207 acres of land in Arizona and the southwest corner of New Mexico as critical habitat for a jaguar population concentrated 130 miles south in Mexico, but the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau argued before the 10th Circuit last Wednesday that land designated in the state for the predators isn’t essential to their conservation. Read more»

The tricolored blackbird is one of 24 species subject to a petition under the Endangered Species Act.

Democrats introduced legislation Tuesday that would repeal rules the Trump administration used to reduce protections under the Endangered Species Act. Read more»

Witnesses testifying on the water-rights bill included, from left, Hualapai Council Member Jean Pagilawa, Francis McAllister of Freeport Minerals Corp., Thomas Buschatzke of the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Bureau of Indian Affairs Michael Black. All but Black supported the bill.

The Bill Williams River Water Rights Settlement Act of 2014 would guarantee some water rights for the Hualapai Tribe, allow Freeport Minerals Corp. to continue operating its Bagdad copper mine and provide the state with lands for wildlife protection, supporters said. Read more»

Arizona State Land Commissioner Vanessa Hickman, second from left, told a House panel that a bill to streamline the land-exchange process would unlock surface and subsurface land to revenue-generating uses, such as commercial, wind and solar development.

State Land Commissioner Vanessa Hickman told a House panel that a bill to streamline public-land exchanges in the West could make for more sensible and environmentally sensitive development. And that could mean more trust land money to go to local schools, she said. Read more» 1

Arizona Rep. Mark Cardenas, D-Phoenix, was in Washington with HECHO – Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting and Outdoors – as it released a survey showing Latinos’ support of conservation and the outdoors in Western states.

A new survey claims that Latino voters in Western states believe the government should protect public lands and they want to be consulted on land-policy issues. Pollsters attributed that sentiment to the generations-long ties many Hispanic families have to the region Read more»

Bruce Babbitt, a former Arizona governor and former U.S. Interior secretary, called on Washington to preserve more public lands, urging the White House to set aside one acre for every acre it leases for oil and gas development.

Former Arizona Gov. Bruce Babbitt called for more active land preservation by the federal government Tuesday, criticizing what he called Washington’s neglect of public lands. Read more»

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