Reuters

Examples of industrial operations edging in on public lands, and the people who oppose them.

FOCUS: Sustainability bug
A special report See full coverage

America's public lands have their hits and misses. Some parts include natural wonders, like Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon, while others are simply empty flatlands about as exciting as a tumbling tumbleweed.

The U.S. Department of the Interior oversees these, and occasionally allows industrial uses, like coal-mining, uranium-mining and other extractive processes. But sometimes, those extractive activities get too close to the natural wonders we are trying to preserve.

A new three-part series of videos from the Center for American Progress and the Sierra Club explores a few of these instances, and calls for more attention to be paid towards the policies and deals that allow profit-making entities to dig into the land near some of the country's most valued natural parks and assets.

"Grand Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and the Bridger-Teton National Forest may all be irrevocably changed if various companies’ plans to move forward with their extraction projects are approved."

Part 1 looks at uranium mining on the edge of the Grand Canyon, the 26-year-old environmental review that's letting it happen and the Native American tribal land in the crossfire.

Part 2 explores the proposed expansion of a coal mine near Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, and the nearby town that worries about its impact on the tourism-based economy.

Part 3 looks at plans to expand natural gas extraction in the Noble Basin of Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming and the citizen groups hoping to prevent the further alteration of nearby landscapes that have gradually become home to vast natural gas drilling operations.

Image credit: Joshua Lott / Reuters

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    'Game of Thrones' Tourists Are Besieging Dubrovnik

    The medieval city in Croatia is having a geek-culture moment as the setting for King’s Landing in the HBO series (not to mention the new Star Wars movie). But not everyone appreciates all the attention.

  2. Maps

    Mapping Where Europe's Population Is Moving, Aging, and Finding Work

    Younger people are fleeing rural areas, migrating northward, and having fewer children. Here’s how that’s changing the region.

  3. Equity

    The Working Class That Wasn't

    The most common jobs for workers without college degrees have never been industrial.

  4. Onlookers survey the skyline of Seattle, Washington.
    POV

    America Needs a 'Metropolitan Party'

    The way back to political sanity runs though the cities—so it’s time for a national political party focused entirely on urban areas.

  5. Maps

    The Incendiary States of America

    A detailed map of U.S. wildfires since 1980 reveals the growing role of human causes.