Reuters

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

FOCUS: Sustainability bug
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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

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