Category Archives: Public Lands

Can I Take Shiny Rocks Home with Me?

Dear Sundog: I’ve been obsessed with rocks since I was a kid. I’d walk riverbeds and shorelines with my head down, picking up everything that caught my eye and pocketing the ones that captured my imagination. I found a fossilized fern once in a layered stone in my favorite part of my home state. It […]

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Could One of These Be Our Next National Park?

It’s not even novel to say it anymore: top national parks are experiencing an overcrowding dilemma. In 2021, forty-four National Park Service units set visitation records, and, for the first time in history, Great Smoky Mountains crossed the 14 million visitor mark. Last year, 50 percent of total recreational visits occurred in just 6 percent […]

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The Ultimate Road-Trip Guide to Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway

There are a few theories as to how Colorado’s so-called Million Dollar Highway—the 25-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 550 that connects the high-elevation towns of Silverton and Ouray—got its name. According to an old mining legend, the gravel required to build the narrow mountain roadway contained $1 million worth of gold and silver ore. Or […]

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Deb Haaland’s Long Game for Victory

In February 2021, when President-elect Joe Biden nominated Deb Haaland to become the 54th secretary of the interior, the left and right staked out familiar turf. A one-term Democratic congresswoman from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Haaland had become a darling to environmentalists. She supported the Green New Deal, called for a fracking ban on public lands, […]

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