In the Western United States, public lands account for billions of dollars in economic activity from a variety of sectors, and provide for an unmatched quality of life. Millions choose to call the region home due to close proximity to these lands, and millions more visit each year. But oftentimes Westerners are misinformed or worse yet, deliberately misled in the debate over how to best manage these public lands.
The Lands and Energy Dashboard is meant to provide members of the media, policy makers and the public with an honest, accurate and rhetoric-free source of information about energy development on public lands. This information is critical to ensuring that our decision makers are striking the right balance between conservation and energy development and that the West remains a great place to live, start a business and raise a family.
Last year, Western Values Project presented five unique graphs in this space, based on national data from 2014. Now, we have updated those graphs to include the nation’s most up-to-date public lands data, which includes their numbers through the end of 2014. We have also added a sixth graph that looks at how the number of active rigs in the U.S. tracks with the price of crude oil. This objective source will aid the public and decision-makers in continuing to strike the critical balance between conservation and energy development on our western public lands.