Public Lands

A panoramic view of Yosemite Valley within Yosemite National Park.

America’s public lands embody our shared natural, cultural and economic heritage. Ensuring public access and balancing mixed uses requires thoughtful management and a fierce insistence on careful stewardship of our public lands for the benefit of all Americans, including future generations. 

In the name of “energy dominance,” the Trump administration has given an unprecedented level of preferential treatment to fossil fuel development on public lands over competing wildlife, recreational, grazing, and conservation interests. The Trump-led Interior Department has sought to roll back critical public lands safeguards and reforms put in place by previous administrations that it views as impediments to fossil fuel development, typically without soliciting meaningful public input, and with little regard for countervailing health, safety and environmental concerns.

State attorneys general have responded with a vigorous defense of America’s public lands. To illustrate, since January 2017, state attorneys general have:

  • Challenged the Interior Department’s efforts to nullify coal, oil, and gas royalty reforms and to reduce payments owed to federal and state taxpayers
  • Opposed the Interior Department's removal of the moratorium on leasing new federal lands for coal development
  • Challenged the Trump administration's attempt to repeal fracking rules for oil and gas drilling on public lands
  • Objected to large fee hikes proposed by the National Park Service for the most popular National Parks
  • Vowed to protect National Monuments from illegal rollbacks not permitted under the Antiquities Act