Federal Officers Face Hostility Amid Tension Over Control Of Federal Lands

Bureau of Land Management Ranger Shane Nalen stands on public land that he patrols outside of Las Vegas, Nev.

September 13, 20164:51 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered

Kirk Siegler/NPR


Just after dawn, on a rutted out dirt road west of Las Vegas, Nev., Bureau of Land Management Ranger Shane Nalen steers his four by four over a small hill.

“You never know what you’re going to roll up on out here,” he says, his dispatch radio squawking in the background.

A panoramic view of the rugged Nevada desert unfolds. But there’s also something peculiar. The desert carpet is lit up with reflecting lights shimmering in the soft morning sun.

Nalen stops and hops out for a closer look. It’s been a problem area for him, he says, pointing out the culprit, thousands of spent, steel shotgun shell casings. It turns out this is just one of scores of unofficial target shooting areas in Nalen’s jurisdiction.

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