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Visual Resource Management

By law, the BLM is responsible for managing public lands for multiple uses. BLM is also responsible for ensuring that the scenic values of these public lands are considered before allowing uses that may have negative visual impacts.

 VRM course visits renewable energy facilities to learn about the technology, siting requirements and opportunities for mitigating visual impacts – wind energy development near Casper, WY – Spring Course. VRM course visits renewable energy facilities to learn about the technology, siting requirements and opportunities for mitigating visual impacts – solar energy development near Las Vegas, NV – Fall Course.

BLM accomplishes this through its Visual Resource Management (VRM) system, a system which involves inventorying scenic values and establishing management objectives for those values through the resource management planning process, and then evaluating proposed activities to determine whether they conform with the management objectives. BLM has established VRM coordinators in each state and provides training in VRM so that this system is implemented effectively throughout the Bureau. The Bureau’s VRM system helps to ensure that the actions taken on the public lands today will benefit the landscape and adjacent communities in the future.  

BLM, in collaboration with the paint industry and other governmental agencies, has developed a  VRM Standard Environmental Colors Chart that best represent the typical colors found in western landscapes. The colors shown here are close representations; however, due to variations in hardware and software capabilities, they may not be accurate and should not be used for actual color selection. A paper copy of the chart can be obtained from:

Chief Landscape Architect
Bureau of Land Management
Washington D.C.
1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665
Washington DC 20240 (M st)
P: (202) 912 7284
F: (303) 236.0845
Please provide name, physical address (no P.O. Boxes), telephone number and quantity with each order.  Other resources that are helpful in selecting project colors are the Munsell color charts for soil and plant tissues.


Scenic shot of waterfalls into lake

"If you foolishly ignore beauty, you'll soon find yourself without it...but if you wisely invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life..."

~Frank Lloyd Wright

For more information about BLM’s VRM system, please contact the National Visual Resource Management Chief Landscape Architect, John 

BLM’s National Training Center offers educational opportunities in VRM as well as other programs. Course descriptions, schedules, tuition information, and contacts are available at