Frequently Asked Questions

How can I adopt a mustang or burro? When and where is the next adoption?

How do I file a mining claim on public lands?

Where and how can I homestead?

Where can I get maps? How much? Do you sell topographic maps?

How do I get a right-of-way grant?

How do I get a permit to hold a gathering or have a concession on public lands? A permit to cut a Christmas tree? A firewood permit? Permission to graze cattle/ostriches, etc.?

Can I camp in wilderness? Hike? Hunt? Have a campfire?

Where can I operate my off-highway vehicle? 

Can I target shoot on BLM Land?

Where's a good place to search for pots or other cultural resources?

How do I apply for a job with the federal government?

How do I get a Golden Eagle, Golden Age, Golden Access Passports, America the Beautiful Recreation Pass?

Where and how can I collect saguaro ribs? Jojoba? Live plants?

How do I adopt a tortoise? Can I pick one up in the wild? Where can I turn mine loose?

How do I get a bat or other wild creature out of my house, camper, etc.?

How do I contact a BLM office in another state?

How do I find out who owns a parcel? How do I know if I'm on public lands? How do I find out if a mining claim is active or valid?

How do I file a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA)? 

Can I film on BLM land?


Q. How can I adopt a mustang or burro? When and where is the next adoption?

A. There are several wild horse and burro adoptions held each year at various locations in Arizona and in other states. Check our Wild Horse & Burro site for dates and times. There is a national Internet Adoption site with more information about the program.


Q. Where can I get maps? How much? Do you sell topographic maps?

A. Maps depicting recreation, surface and mineral jurisdiction and wildernesses are normally available at any BLM office. Land status maps range in price from free to $15.50 each.


Q. How do I get a right-of-way grant?

A. A pre-application meeting with a BLM realty specialist is recommended on all right-of-way applications. A Standard Form SF 299 application must be completely filled out and signed. The application must include a map. When required, a plan of development must be completed. Processing fees are designed to reimburse costs incurred by the BLM in preparing reports or statements required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Post-permit fees reimburse the BLM for costs incurred in monitoring the construction, operation, maintenance and termination of authorized rights-of-way, including the protection and rehabilitation of BLM lands. Contact your local BLM office for the free brochure Obtaining a Right-of-Way on Public Lands for details.


Q. How do I get a permit to cut a Christmas tree?

A. Christmas tree permits are issued by the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the Department of Agriculture. In Phoenix, you can call the Tonto National Forest at (602) 225-5200 for more information.


Q. Can I camp in wilderness? Hike? Hunt? Have a campfire?

A. Generally speaking, in-season hunting, camping and hiking are allowed in all BLM-administered wildernesses, unless posted otherwise. Remember, no mechanized/motorized vehicles are allowed in any wilderness. Hikers and horseback riders are cautioned to stay on designated trails, but cross-country travel is a legal and honorable use of wilderness. Consult the BLM field office or other administering agency for specific regulations regarding campfires, wood gathering, etc. in the wilderness you wish to visit (e.g., some wildernesses have so little available wood that fires are prohibited inside the wilderness).


Q. Where can I operate my off-highway vehicle?

A. Unless posted otherwise or in wildernesses, off-highway vehicle use is allowed on established roads, trails, and washes on BLM-administered lands. For more information, visit our OHV Opportunities pages.


Q. Can I target shoot on BLM Lands? 

A. Usually, yes, under safe conditions, in most locations. There are some specific areas where this activity is prohibited, and you must abide by state and community laws wherever you are, especially shooting near occupied places and across or from vehicle routes. You will need a good land status map, because target shooting on Arizona State Trust land is always prohibited. Remember: damaging the vegetation, such as cactus or trees, is illegal in Arizona. Also, you are responsible for cleaning up and leaving no trace of your visit. Please contact the Field Office whose jurisdiction you will be in for detailed questions because conditions may change.


Q. Where's a good place to search for pots or other cultural resources?

A. Archaeological sites (ruins) and historic properties are protected by law. These valuable resources contain important information about our past that is not found in history books. The public is usually allowed to explore such a site, but please leave it exactly as you find it.


Q. How do I apply for a job with the federal government?

A. The primary source of information is the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).


Q. How do I get a Golden Eagle, Golden Age, Golden Access Passports, America the Beautiful Recreation Pass?

A. Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and Golden Access passport cards have been replaced by the America the Beautiful Interagency Pass. For more information regarding costs and options go to http://store.usgs.gov/pass/index.html or visit our Information Access Center, One North Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ (602) 417-9200. Existing passes will remain valid until expired, lost or stolen.


Q. Where and how can I collect saguaro ribs? Jojoba? Live plants?

A. Down-and-dead saguaro ribs may be collected for personal use only. A rule of thumb is: the amount that can be carried manually to the vehicle in one load is the annual allotment. Jojoba beans are seasonal and can be harvested in designated areas with a pre-approved permit, based on the weight of the beans. Live vegetation collection is not normally allowed. Call your local BLM office for specific information on collecting plants or other items. Collectors should be aware of state laws regulating the collection and transportation of plant material. For more information about desert plants visit the Arizona Department of Agriculture or the Desert Botanical Garden.


Q. How do I adopt a tortoise? Can I pick one up in the wild? Where can I turn mine loose?

A. For information on adopting a tortoise, contact your local Arizona Game and Fish Department office. Removing a wild desert tortoise is illegal. Report such an action via Operation Game Thief (1-800-352-0700 or 1-800-VANDALS).

This "living dinosaur" should be enjoyed from a distance. Picking up a tortoise "just to look" can cause it to release all of its stored water, resulting in dehydration and possible death for the animal. Releasing a pet tortoise into the wild virtually signs its death certificate; at a minimum, it increases the risk of disease transmittal and stress on wild tortoise populations. Instead, contact the local Arizona Game and Fish Department office or the BLM to place a pet in the "Adopt-a-tortoise" program.

Learn more about proper care of adopted desert tortoises through information available from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (520) 883-2702, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (602) 582-9806, the National Turtle and Tortoise Club (602) 883-2702, or the Arizona Herpetological Association(480) 894-1625.


Q. How do I get a bat or other wild creature out of my house, camper, etc.?

A. Nuisance wildlife can be a big problem, particularly with human population growth into the urban interface. If unwanted animals den or nest too close, residents may need to call a local pest control company.  If injured wildlife is discovered, call the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center (602) 582-9806 or other rehabilitation facility (see Animal Rescue in the yellow pages).


Q. How do I contact a BLM office in another state?

A. Use the links at the left under "Our Offices/Centers," or visit our BLM National Home Page and choose a state from the map.


Q. How do I find out who owns a parcel? How do I know if I'm on public lands? How do I find out if a mining claim is active or valid?

A. Your local county courthouse will help you determine who owns that parcel. Visit your local BLM office and consult the files to discover whether a particular parcel is private or public. The master title plats (MTPs) are a handy guide to the basic ownership history of current and past BLM-managed lands. Unpatented mining claim information maintained by the BLM is also available.


Q. How do I file a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA)?

A. This information is found in the Electronic Reading Room of the national BLM website.


Q.  Can I film on BLM land?

A permit will be necessary.  Details and forms are available on this page:  http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/lands/filming.html