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Lands and Realty

Land Tenure

The BLM Lands program overseas land use, purchase, exchange, donation and sale involving BLM-administered public lands. The BLM also determines the boundaries of federal land and maintains historic records for these ownership transactions. Land ownership transfer through purchase, exchange, donation and sale is an important component of the BLM’s strategy. Disposing (by sale or exchange) small, isolated and difficult to manage parcels improves the BLM’s overall ownership pattern, which reduces costs associated with managing those parcels and reduces the potential risk of conflicts with adjacent landowners. Consolidated ownership patterns provide an efficient landscape for BLM managers and their planning and decision making processes to preserve and conserve values considered important to the public. The bureau completes ownership transactions involving land and interests in land when such transactions are in the public interest and consistent with publicly-approved land use plans.


Each year, thousands of individuals and companies apply to the BLM to obtain a right-of-way (ROW) on public land.

A ROW grant is an authorization to use a specific piece of public land for a certain project, such as roads, pipelines, transmission lines and communication sites. A ROW grant authorizes rights and privileges for a specific use of the land for a specific period of time. Generally, a BLM ROW is granted for a term appropriate for the life of the project.

For more information on how to obtain a right-of-way on public land go to:

Leases and Permits

Section 302 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) authorizes the BLM to issue leases and permits for the public to use, occupy and develop public lands. Leases and permits are issued for commercial filming, advertising displays, commercial or noncommercial croplands, apiaries, livestock holding or feeding areas not related to grazing permits and leases, harvesting native or introduced species, temporary or permanent facilities for commercial purposes (does not include mining claims), residential occupancy, ski resorts, construction equipment storage sites, assembly yards, oil rig stacking sites, mining claim occupancy if the residential structures are not incidental to the mining operation, and water pipelines and well pumps related to irrigation and non-irrigation facilities. The regulations establishing procedures to process these leases and permits are found in 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 2920.

Filming on Public Lands: The public lands have long been a popular location for the motion picture industry. Special permits to use public lands for commercial film production are issued by the BLM under Section 302(b) of FLPMA. For specifics on obtaining a film permit in Colorado visit,