A handful of state legislators in the West are pushing for local control of public land, which may lead to lucrative mining and drilling operations, but financial and constitutional issues could hinder the effort.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has proposed a host of new fees for mining on public land as part of President Barack Obama’s 2016 budget.
In 1994, The Center for Investigative Reporting teamed up with FRONTLINE to produce the documentary, “Public Lands, Private Profits.” Eleven years later, it’s clear that not much about the 19th century mining law has changed.
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The belief in the absolute right of ranchers to graze essentially unregulated on public lands remains strong. Here are 10 things to know about the government’s hands-off approach to the practice.