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First Posted: July 18, 2007
Oct 14, 2013

Bureau of Land Management (Department of the Interior)

Bureau of Land Management

What is the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)?

The BLM is an agency within the Department of Interior. The BLM manages 264 million surface acres of public lands located primarily in the 12 Western States, including Alaska. The agency manages an additional 300 million acres of subsurface mineral estate located throughout the country. Originally, these lands were valued principally for the commodities extracted from them; today, the public also prizes them for the recreational opportunities and their natural, historical, and cultural resources.

How does the BLM manage the public lands?

The BLM administers public lands within a framework of numerous laws. The most comprehensive of these is the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA). All Bureau policies, procedures and management actions must be consistent with FLPMA and the other laws that govern use of the public lands. It is the mission of the Bureau of Land Management to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

What is FLPMA?

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 declared FLPMA the policy of the United States wherein: "....the public lands be retained in Federal ownership, unless as a result of the land use planning procedure provided in this Act, it is determined that disposal of a particular parcel will serve the national interest..." Through FLPMA, Congress made it clear that the public lands should be held in public ownership and managed for "multiple use," defined as: "The management of the public lands and their various resource values so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people..."


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