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Bureau of Land Management

Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20240


DIRECTOR *Tracy Stone-Manning

The Bureau of Land Management sustains the health, diversity, and productivity of public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.


President Harry S. Truman prepared and transmitted to the U.S. Congress a plan of reorganization that created the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Section 403 of reorganization plan no. 3 of 1946 consolidated the General Land Office with the Grazing Service to establish the Bureau of Land Management. The plan became effective on July 16, 1946.

On October 21, 1976, President Gerald R. Ford approved the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (PL 94–579) to establish public land policy; to establish guidelines for its administration; to provide for the management, protection, development, and enhancement of the public lands; and for other purposes" (90 STAT. 2743). In the law, Congress declared that national policy governing the management of public lands "be on the basis of multiple use and sustained yield."

The BLM posts its organization chart online.


Laws that affect public lands are codified in 43 U.S.C. Chapter 1 of that title contains codified material that is associated with the BLM.

Rules and regulations that affect public lands and that are associated with the BLM are codified in 43 CFR 1000–9999 (subtitle B, ch. II). The codified subjects include forest, general, land resource, minerals, and range management; preservation and conservation; recreation programs; and technical services.


The BLM sustains the diversity, health, and productivity of America's public lands for the benefit of present and future generations through a mandate of multiple-use and sustained-yield. It manages 1 of every 10 acres of land across the United States, about 245 million acres of land, most of which is located in Alaska and 11 other Western States. The Bureau also manages about 30 percent, or 700 million acres, of the Nation’s subsurface mineral estate. The BLM oversees conventional and renewable energy development, livestock grazing, recreation, and timber harvesting, and it protects cultural, historical, and natural resources. Many of these resources are found on National Conservation Lands, a subset of BLM lands that are federally designated, that cover 32 million acres, and that include 260 wilderness areas and 28 national monuments.

A number of energy resources are accessible on public lands. The BLM supports a diversified energy approach that includes coal, oil and gas, strategic minerals, as well as renewable energy resources like geothermal, solar, wind, and woody biomass. A diversified approach strengthens the Nation's energy security, strengthens its energy infrastructure, and stimulates job creation. To serve industry and the American public, the BLM is making energy development easier on public lands by reviewing and streamlining business processes.

The Bureau manages livestock on 155 million acres of land, administering nearly 18,000 permits and leases held by ranchers who graze mostly cattle and sheep.

Under the Wild Free-­Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, it also manages herds of wild horses and burros on public rangelands.

Recreation is also part of the BLM's portfolio. Birdwatchers, campers, hang gliders, horseback riders, hunters, mountain bikers, photographers, whitewater rafters, and visitors to cultural and natural heritage sites recreate on hundreds of millions of acres of public lands. The Bureau estimates that it receives approximately 62 million recreational visits per year.

The BLM manages habitat for over 300 wildlife, fish, and plant species that are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act and 12 species identified as candidates for listing. Public lands that the BLM manages offer the best opportunity for recovery of some rare or listed plant and animal species because their unique requirements for survival can be met only on Federal lands.

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to stand up a law enforcement body to enforce Federal laws and regulations affecting public lands and their resources. As a result, the BLM has been given specific resource protection and law enforcement responsibilities that further the FLPMA's public lands management policy of multiple use. The Bureau's law enforcement program helps ensure public safety, while supporting its multiple-use mission. Law enforcement officers investigate vandalism and looting, support emergency responders, and maintain a safe environment for visitors to the public lands and for BLM employees.

The BLM carries out a broad range of actions to protect the public, natural landscapes, wildlife habitat, and recreational areas from wildfire. The BLM's national fire and aviation program consists of community assistance and protection, fire prevention through education, fire suppression, preparedness, predictive services, prescribed fire, and vegetative fuels management.

The BLM's lands, realty and cadastral survey program manages public land transactions: purchases and acquisitions, sales and exchanges, withdrawals, leases and permits, right-of-way authorizations, and, cadastral (i.e., mapping) survey services. From enabling energy development, to permitting commercial filming, to defining boundaries and maintaining public land records, BLM professionals regard the public lands as working landscapes, and they manage them for the benefit of current and future generations. The BLM's mission—which is built on the principles of multiple-use and sustained yield—requires the agency to promote commerce, conservation, and recreation on public lands.

The Bureau's broad management responsibilities require balancing public land uses and protection of public land resources. Working with State and local and tribal governments, stakeholder groups, and the public, the BLM creates land use plans, referred to as Resource Management Plans, to guide decisions for approved uses of and actions affecting public lands.

Sources of Information

Adoption Schedule

The BLM offers wild horses and burros for adoption or purchase at events nationwide throughout the year. The most current adoption event schedule is accessible online.

Archived Records

The "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States" indicates that BLM records have been assigned to record group 049.

Artist-in-Residence Program

Residencies of 6–8 weeks are available in several Western States for painters, photographers, potters, sculptors, and other artists.

Business Opportunities

The BLM procures a wide array of goods and services.

Stewardship contracting refers to trading forest products for land management and services. In exchange for thinning the forest and keeping the trees to sell, for example, a contractor or an organization performs service-work that helps to achieve key land management goals like improving wildlife habitat or reestablishing native plant species. The intent of stewardship is to improve, maintain, or restore forest or rangeland health; restore or maintain water quality; improve fish and wildlife habitat; and reduce danger from wildfires.

Career Opportunities

The BLM relies on people with diverse skills and from various professional backgrounds—business, engineering, fire management, law enforcement, science, and other fields—to manage the Nation’s public lands and resources.

In 2020, the BLM ranked 322d among 411 agency subcomponents in the Partnership for Public Service's Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.

Climate Change

Climate change presents challenges to the BLM as it manages inland freshwater ecosystems (e.g., lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands) and coastal wetlands. Researchers project the disappearance of cold-water fish from large areas of their current geographic ranges as streams become more sporadic and warmer; the expansion of the ranges of warm-water fish as surface waters warm; and more frequent and widespread algal blooms that adversely affect water quality.

Contact Information

Contact information is available online.

Data Resources

The BLM regularly gathers, maintains, and publishes data to inform stakeholders and the general public. These data include detailed information on the commercial uses of the public lands; recreational activities and revenues; wild horse and burro management; cadastral (i.e., mapping) surveys; conservation of rangeland resources and 870 special units (e.g., wilderness areas); and the socioeconomic effects of public land management.

Federal Register

Significant documents, from 1995 (volume 60) to the present, and recent documents that the BLM has published in the Federal Register are available online.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The FOIA gives the right to request access to BLM records to anyone. In response to a FOIA request, the BLM will disclose the desired information, unless this right of access is restricted by one of nine exemptions or three special law enforcement record exclusions that shield certain records, or parts of them, from disclosure. More information on the FOIA and instructions for submitting a request are available on the BLM website. Phone, 202-912-7650. | Email:

Before submitting a records request in writing to the FOIA officer, the requester should check that the information being sought is not already publicly accessible. The BLM maintains an electronic FOIA reading room where it posts records that have been released into the public domain in response to previous requests.

General Land Office Records

The General Land Office Records website allows visitors to access Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States (i.e., States created out of the public domain). The website contains images of more than five million Federal land title records that were issued since 1820. It also has images related to survey plats and field notes dating back to 1810.

Geographic Information System (GIS) Data

BLM Navigator serves as a centralized location for accessing project, State, and national geospatial data.

The Landscape Approach Data Portal is a one-stop source for geospatial data, maps, models, and reports that BLM's landscape initiatives have produced.


A timeline that is structured around the enactment of land management legislation is available online. Specific public laws have guided the BLM's mission, and the passage of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 was the culmination of that process of policymaking.

Information Center

The "Information Center" web page has links to BLM policy, congressional testimony, Federal Register, live events, magazines and newsletters, notices, Office of Civil Rights, press releases, public room (brochures, maps, reports), and social media web pages.


Giving young people the opportunity to learn outdoors and recreate on public lands promotes the development of the next generation of public land stewards and conservation leaders.


The library has professional staff who can assist BLM employees nationwide. The library staff is also available to assist members of the general public seeking BLM publications and information. The library offers a range of resources and services that include journals, databases, publications, subject guides, and an online library catalog. | Email:


The BLM manages public lands in accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.

The BLM manages one in every 10 acres of land in the United States, and approximately 30 percent of the Nation’s minerals. These lands and their minerals are found in each of the 50 States in diverse ecosystems like arctic tundra, deserts, forests, mountains, and grasslands.


Map and geospatial products inform BLM decision making. These maps and products are becoming more accessible online.


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public lands where Deinonychus, Edmontosaurus, Pentaceratops, and Stegosaurus once roamed. To learn more, visit the BLM's "Paleontology" web pages.


The National Conservation Lands program offers online recreational guides for a convenient connection to public lands.

The BLM website provides resources for mountain bikers. These resources include the BLM Top 20 Mountain Biking Opportunities list and interactive mountain biking maps for trails on BLM lands.

Social Media

The BLM uses digital media tools to connect people with public lands and to keep people informed about activities on them.


Tables and spreadsheets with data that include the numbers of BLM-administered oil and gas leases, of applications for permit to drill, and of oil and gas wells are accessible on the BLM website. Most of the statistics presented cover Fiscal Years 1988–2015.

Timber Sales

The availability of timber for harvest depends on the age and condition of the timber, land status, and public demand, as well as on other land use considerations.

Woody Biomass

Woody biomass is used to produce electricity and products like furniture, paper, and wood for housing.