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DSLRVideo.com / Flicker / CC BY-SA 2.0

'Go Out and Vote' Patagonia Endorses Candidates for First Time in Its History

Outdoor brand Patagonia is endorsing candidates for the first time in its history in an effort to protect the country's at-risk public lands and waters.

The civic-minded retailer is backing two Democrats in two crucial Senate races: the re-election of Sen. Jon Tester of Montana; and Rep. Jacky Rosen, who is trying to unseat Republican Sen. Dean Heller in Nevada.

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Zinke Extends Mining Ban Near Yellowstone, Protecting Land in Home State

Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke extended an existing mining ban in mountains north of Yellowstone National Park on Monday.

The move withdraws more than 30,000 acres of public lands in Montana's Paradise Valley from new claims for gold, silver and other mineral extraction for 20 years. It does not impact existing mining claims on private lands in the area.

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Adventure
Muir Woods, which costs $10 for entry, will have free entry on Sept. 22. m01229 / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Visit Any National Park for Free This Saturday to Celebrate 25th National Public Lands Day

If you're stuck for plans this weekend, we suggest escaping your city or town for the great outdoors.

This Saturday marks the 25th National Public Lands Day, organized by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF).

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Politics
Oil and gas companies flare natural gas that cannot be processed or sold. Varodrig / Wikimedia Commons

Trump Lets Fracking Companies Release More Climate-Warming Methane

As expected, the U.S. Department of the Interior on Tuesday released a final rule that reverses Obama-era restrictions on methane emissions from oil and gas operations.

President Obama's 2016 methane waste rule, which never went into effect, required fossil fuel companies on tribal and public lands to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that's about 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. It called on drilling operators to capture leaking and vented methane and to update their leak-detection equipment.

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Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund. USFWS

Is the United States About to Lose Its Best Conservation Program?

By Tara Lohan

Time is running out for one of the U.S.' most successful—and least-known—conservation programs.

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Moose at North Dakota's Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge can be legally killed for the first time this hunting season. FWS

Zinke Increases Hunting and Fishing Areas in 30 Wildlife Refuges

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is expanding or opening hunting in 30 National Wildlife Refuges, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced Friday.

The move will open more than 251,000 acres and raise the total number of places where hunting is permitted to 377 and where fishing is permitted to 312. The expansion will be in effect in time for the 2018-2019 hunting season.

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A part of Bears Ears that was lopped off partly due to the work of Downey Magallanes, who will move to BP after Labor Day. U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Interior Adviser to Join BP After Pushing to Open National Monuments to Fossil Fuel Development

A Department of the Interior (DOI) official who played an important role in opening public lands to fossil fuel interests has left the federal government to accept a job at BP, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Former DOI Deputy Chief of Staff Downey Magallanes led the review that resulted in Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke's plan to shrink the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah by 85 and 46 percent respectively, Think Progress pointed out.

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David Gessner

Barbed Wire and Redrock at Bears Ears National Monument

By David Gessner

I am sitting near the top of the eastern ear, or rather the eastern earlobe, of Bears Ears, the redock buttes that give our most controversial national monument its name. From up here I can look back on my starting point, the meadow far below and two miles north where a big white tent marks the social center for the reunion of five Native American tribes during the fourth annual Bears Ears Summer Gathering. Hundreds of Indigenous people, environmental organizers, and members of the media like me make up the first meeting of this sort since President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced, last December, that they were going to reduce Bears Ears by 85 percent.

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Politics
Melania Trump attends a Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention summit at the Health Resources and Service Administration Aug. 20 in Rockville, Maryland. Getty Images

Melania Trump's National Park Service Birthday Tweet Sparks Backlash

Melania Trump celebrated the National Park Service's (NPS) 102nd birthday at a White House event on Saturday. In a tweet, she thanked NPS for its "commitment to this country!"

The Internet, however, was quick to point out her husband's efforts to roll back protections of our public lands in his push to open them up for mining, drilling and other exploitative operations.

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