Andy Kerr

Conservationist, Writer, Analyst, Operative, Agitator, Strategist, Tactitian, Schmoozer, Raconteur

Federal Lands

The Other Anti-Public-Lands Constituency: Left-Wing Extremists

The Other Anti-Public-Lands Constituency: Left-Wing Extremists

The conservation community must now also contend with an emerging existential threat to the nation’s public lands posed by fringe groups of left-wing crazies who seek to tribalize public lands.

Read More

The Hard Case of Hardrock Mining Reform (Part 2): Conservation Areas in Which to Just Say No

The Hard Case of Hardrock Mining Reform (Part 2): Conservation Areas in Which to Just Say No

While the how, when, where, and why of mining on federal public lands is important (see Part 1), at least as important is where notto mine on federal public lands. These include places where the public’s interest in the conservation of natural, historical, and cultural values outweighs the value of any minerals that might be had, places that have been reserved for the benefit of this and future generations rather than for the benefit of today’s corporation.

Read More

The Hard Case of Hardrock Mining Reform (Part 1): Where Done, If It Cannot Be Done Right, Then Do It the Least Wrong

The Hard Case of Hardrock Mining Reform (Part 1): Where Done, If It Cannot Be Done Right, Then Do It the Least Wrong

Today anybody, including foreign companies (as long as they own a domestic corporate shell), can enter most federal public lands and stake a claim, which the government treats as a right to mine. The government cannot say no to such hardrock mining, no matter how inappropriate.

Read More

Wither the Wild Rogue?

Wither the Wild Rogue?

When Representative Greg Walden (R-2nd-OR) hears “the Rogue,” he happily dreams of the roar of chainsaws. But now Walden is down and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-4th-OR) is up, and the stars have aligned to save the Wild Rogue. You can help.

Read More

Where the Buffalo Roam

Where the Buffalo Roam

Grasslands get little respect. So easily are they converted to agriculture that grasslands are the least protected biome on Earth.

Read More

Filling the Congressional Conservation Pipeline for When It Unclogs

Filling the Congressional Conservation Pipeline for When It Unclogs

Several mostly good public lands conservation bills have been introduced in the 115th Congress (2017–18) but languish in committee, unable to get a vote on the floor of the House or the Senate.

Read More

Zinke’s Move to Defile the Izembek

Zinke’s Move to Defile the Izembek

The Trump administration is trying to allow a 12-mile road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and wilderness area in Alaska.

Read More

Abuse of Process by the Bundys: Trying to Make the Law Fit Their Beliefs

Abuse of Process by the Bundys: Trying to Make the Law Fit Their Beliefs

Fresh on the heels of the dismissal of federal charges, Cliven Bundy has filed a new lawsuit against the federal government. The suit was filed on January 25, 2018, in the eighth judicial district in and for Clark County, Nevada.

Read More

Protecting the Pacific Northwest Offshore Ocean for This and Future Generations

Protecting the Pacific Northwest Offshore Ocean for This and Future Generations

Abstaining from mineral development offshore is the only way to protect the marine environment and the renewable resources that depend upon it.

Read More

US Pacific Northwest Offshore Oil and Gas: A Waste of Time, Ocean and Coast

US Pacific Northwest Offshore Oil and Gas: A Waste of Time, Ocean and Coast

There is an even chance that 0.4 billion barrels of oil and 2.28 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that are technically exploitable might be discovered under the Outer Continental Shelf offshore Oregon and Washington. At 2017 rates of consumption, this amount of oil and gas would fuel the United States for twenty and thirty-one days respectively.

Read More

Defensible Space: The Best and Only Hope for the Homeowner In or Near a Forest

Defensible Space: The Best and Only Hope for the Homeowner In or Near a Forest

If one is going to live in or near a forest, one assumes a higher risk of fire. The best way to minimize that risk is to seriously and continually create and maintain defensible space. It’s not cheap. If it were, it would have been done already.

Read More

More Moral Hazard Than Fire Hazard: The Responsibility of Homeowners in the WUI

More Moral Hazard Than Fire Hazard: The Responsibility of Homeowners in the WUI

In the backcountry, fire is wonderful, necessary, and inevitable.... In the frontcountry, fire is awful, unnecessary, and preventable.... The biggest problem with fire occurs where the frontcountry meets the backcountry, the bureaucratically named wildland-urban interface (WUI: “woo-ee”).

Read More

Public Lands Conservation in Congress: Stalled by the Extinction of Green Republicans

Public Lands Conservation in Congress: Stalled by the Extinction of Green Republicans

Many politicians call for a return to the era of bipartisanship as a solution to any woe. This call has resonance because the bipartisan era occurred in the living memory of baby boomers. But in the long arc of history this era did not last long, and the evidence of today does not give much hope of a return to it.

Read More