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Analysis of recent federal land protections shows Western states are all over the map

A backpacker, left, hikes through Wyoming's Red Desert. The half-million-acre public land – consisting of sand dunes, badlands and canyons – does not currently have permanent protections.
Matthew Cuzzocreo
/
Wyoming Wilderness Association
A backpacker, left, hikes through Wyoming's Red Desert. The half-million-acre public land – consisting of sand dunes, badlands and canyons – does not currently have permanent protections.

A new report shows that Western states vary widely in how much federal public lands within their borders have been protected from extractive uses over the last decade – with some surprising discrepancies.

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