Jacob Fischler

Jacob Fischler

Jacob Fischler covers federal policy as a senior reporter in the States Newsroom Washington bureau. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues as well as climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.

sage grouse in flight

Pendley’s BLM decisions in Western states targeted for rollback

By: - October 7, 2020

A federal judge’s ruling that the acting head of the Bureau of Land Management was serving unlawfully in that position could have implications for dozens of decisions the agency made across the West during the past 15 months—including in Nevada, Arizona and Colorado. After the judge’s Sept. 25 ruling that William Perry Pendley had been […]

vote sign

An election year like no other puts voters on edge

By: and - October 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — Widespread anxiety and confusion around voting, compounded by the pandemic that has spread to millions of Americans, including President Donald Trump. A vastly underfunded and decentralized electoral system that could take days and possibly weeks to certify results.  Attempts to suppress voting, interfere with elections and cast doubt on the integrity of mail-in […]

‘Extremely frustrating’ mail delays for prescriptions hit veterans, rural areas

By: - August 25, 2020

Jan Stowe, a Vietnam War veteran from Traverse City, Mich., says she was unable to move her head and neck for several days last month after going without medication to treat extreme muscle spasms. Stowe, a Department of Veterans Affairs patient who receives her medication through the U.S. Postal Service, said in an interview with […]

BLM Grand Junction office building

Pendley’s nomination may be scrapped, but he’s still in charge at BLM

By: - August 21, 2020

President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Bureau of Land Management will continue leading the agency even after his nomination is withdrawn, leading the diverse conservation groups that opposed him to call for his removal from office. The Trump administration said last weekend it would pull the nomination of William Perry Pendley when the Senate […]

War on the West!

Rosen, Senate Dems face uphill fight against Trump public lands pick

By: - August 5, 2020

Nevada Sen. Jacky Rosen is among the Democrats hoping to thwart President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, a man she says is unfit to head the agency because of his record in favor of aggressive oil and gas extraction on public lands. Trump nominated William Perry Pendley to lead […]


House passes bipartisan public lands bill; next stop president’s desk

By: and - July 23, 2020

WASHINGTON — Major environmental legislation sailed through Congress Wednesday while the nation’s political leaders were stuck in intense negotiations over the contours of a fifth coronavirus relief package. The bill would provide $9.5 billion over five years to pay down the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog and provide permanent funding at $900 million per year […]

Delays in COVID-19 relief funds threaten upgrades to tribal health care 

By: - July 13, 2020

Part of the federal funding sent to Native American tribes for COVID-19 relief could be used to build long-sought health infrastructure, though conditions placed on the federal aid and delays in its arrival threaten tribes’ ability to capitalize on it. The $2.2 trillion CARES Act Congress passed in March included $8 billion directly for tribes […]

connect those dots people

From call center workers to national guard, states recruit contact tracers

By: - May 26, 2020

As states seek to loosen wide-ranging restrictions imposed to constrain the novel coronavirus, they’re also looking to deploy a huge new fleet of workers to keep cases under control. Enter the contact tracers. With interpersonal contact certain to increase as states lift COVID-19 restrictions, tracing the who infected people had contact with — and then […]

sun sets

Can lessons from the Great Recession help states avoid budget disasters?

By: - May 11, 2020

As they face massive budget shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic, states are looking for federal money to help stave off the kind of drastic cuts they enacted during the last economic downturn. State budget officers and economists generally agree that cuts to state spending worsened the Great Recession in the years following 2008. Layoffs, […]

gun show

Pandemic fuels state feuds over gun rights

By: - April 26, 2020

COVID-19 has ignited the debate over gun rights as states grapple with whether to allow gun sales while other retailers are forced to shutter. Stores selling guns and ammunition remain legally open in 45 states that include sellers and manufacturers as essential services that are exempted from orders shutting down most commercial activity or have […]