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Land Management

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An estimated 2 million abandoned oil and gas wells across the country, forgotten or ignored by the energy companies that drilled them, are believed to be leaking toxic chemicals. Many of the wells are releasing methane, a greenhouse gas containing about 86 times the climate-warming power of carbon dioxide over two decades. Some are leaking chemicals such as benzene, a known carcinogen, into fields and groundwater.

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CRANE, Texas (AP) — Rusted pipes litter the sandy fields of Ashley Williams Watt’s cattle ranch in windswept West Texas. The corroded skeletons are all that remain of hundreds of abandoned oil wells that were drilled long before her family owned the land. The wells, unable to produce any useful amounts of oil or gas, were plugged with cement decades ago and forgotten.

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RENO, Nev. (AP) — U.S. officials who are trying to adopt out wild horses captured on public land say they are tightening protections to guard against the illegal resale of the animals for slaughter, but advocates say the government needs to do more, including ending incentive payments for adoptions.

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OVERTON, Nev. (AP) — The push to transition from carbon-emitting fuel sources to renewable energy is hitting a roadblock in Nevada, where solar power developers are abandoning plans to build what would have been the United States' largest array of solar panels in the desert north of Las Vegas.

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Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is paying her first visit Friday to the new Colorado headquarters of her department's Bureau of Land Management after its relocation from the nation's capital by the Trump administration sparked criticism that the move was intended to gut the agency that oversees vast tracts of public lands in the West.

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DENVER (AP) — Confronting the historic drought that has a firm grip on the American West requires a heavy federal infrastructure investment to protect existing water supplies but also will depend on efforts at all levels of government to reduce demand by promoting water efficiency and recycling, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said Thursday.

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited her home state Saturday to celebrate what marks the largest wilderness land donation in the agency’s history and another addition to the nation's landholdings as the Biden administration aims to conserve nearly one-third of America’s lands and waters by 2030.

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — President Joe Biden’s pick to oversee U.S. lands in the Western states stonewalled a 1989 investigation into the sabotage of an Idaho timber sale, a former federal law enforcement officer alleged in a letter released Thursday.

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NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A deadly brush fire that claimed four lives and has been described as the most destructive blaze in Cyprus' 61-year history as an independent republic is now fully under control, Cypriot authorities said Monday.

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