About BLM - About Eastern States - What We Do

About the BLM
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was established in 1946 through the consolidation of the General Land Office (created in 1812) and the U.S. Grazing Service (formed in 1934). The functions of the BLM are also addressed in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA). (For more details, please see BLM and Its Predecessors). To see a comprehensive list of legislation that BLM operates under, click here.

The BLM is responsible for carrying out a variety of programs for the management and conservation, of resources on 258 million surface acres, as well as 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate, These public lands make up about 13 percent of the total land surface of the United States and more than 40 percent of all land managed by the Federal government. To see how BLM is organized, click here

Most of the public lands are located in the Western United States, including Alaska, and are characterized predominantly by extensive grassland, forest, high mountain, arctic tundra, and desert landscapes. The BLM manages multiple resources and uses, including energy and minerals; timber; forage; recreation; wild horse and burro herds; fish and wildlife habitat; wilderness areas; and archaeological, paleontological, and historical sites. Click here for a medium size map (1288 x 760) of BLM-managed lands and click here for a large size map (4168 x 2460). 

In addition to its minerals management responsibilities noted above, the BLM administers mineral leasing and oversees mineral operations on Federal mineral estate underlying other state, private, or Federally-administered land, and manages most mineral operations on Indian lands. 

The public lands provide significant economic benefits to the Nation and to states and counties where these lands are located. Revenues generated from public lands make BLM one of the top revenue-generating agencies in the Federal government. In 2007, for instance, BLM’s onshore mineral leasing activities will generate an estimated $4.5 billion in receipts from royalties, bonuses, and rentals that are collected by the Minerals Management Service. Approximately half of these revenues will be returned to the States where the mineral leasing occurred.

The Bureau administers about 57 million acres of commercial forests and woodlands through the Management of Lands and Resources and the Oregon and California Grant Lands appropriations. Timber receipts (including salvage) are estimated to be $55.4 million in fiscal year 2007, compared to estimated receipts of $33 million in Fiscal Year 2006 and actual receipts of $13.5 million in Fiscal Year 2005. 

Under its multiple-use management mandate, the Bureau administers more than 18,000 grazing permits and leases and nearly 13 million authorized livestock animal unit months on 160 million acres of public rangeland. BLM manages rangelands and facilities for 57,000 wild horses and burros. The 258 million acres of public land administered by the BLM includes over 117,000 miles of fisheries habitat. 

The Bureau has an active program of soil and watershed management on 175 million acres in the lower 48 states and 86 million acres in Alaska. Practices such as revegetation, protective fencing, and water development are designed to conserve, enhance public land, including soil and watershed resources.   The BLM is also responsible for fire protection on public lands and on all Interior Department in Alaska, as well as for wilfire management on the public lands on the public lands in Alaska and the Western States.

The job of balancing this mix of resources and uses grows more complex each year, as the West’s population growth creates new pressures and heightens existing management challenges. With over 68.3 million people living in the region today, the West continues to be the fastest-growing area in the nation. This growth — and the urbanization that accompanies it — places new demands on BLM-managed land. 

Working with its partners at the local, state, and national levels, the BLM will ensure the health and productivity of the public lands for current and future generations.

About Eastern States

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management-Eastern States, is responsible for the stewardship of the public lands and resources under the jurisdiction of the BLM in 31 States east of and bordering the Mississippi River. Major programs include: Cadastral Survey, General Land Office Records, Wild Horse and Burro Adoptions and Compliance, Energy and Minerals, Lands, Renewable Resources, Wildland Fire Management, and National Landscape Conservation Areas.

Eastern States consists of the State Office in Springfield, Virginia; two Field Offices: one in Jackson, Mississippi, and one in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and the Division of Solid Minerals in Rolla, Missouri. We also have a Lower Potomac River Field Station located in Virginia, and several smaller project offices throughout the eastern United States.

The Milwaukee Field Office is responsible for the following 20 northern states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. It also includes a Division of Solid Minerals located in Rolla, Missouri.

The Jackson Field Office is responsible for the following 11 southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Lower Potomac River Field Station is responsible for acquired lands in the greater national capital metropolitan area, which include: Meadowood Farm, Douglas Point, and Maryland Point.

What We Do

The Bureau of Land Management's Eastern States became an official State Office on April 8, 1980, with responsibilities for managing the public lands and resources in the 31 states that are contiguous and east of the Mississippi River. Through the leadership of its State Directors during our history, Eastern States has conducted its programs with a clear mission in mind - responsible stewardship of the public treasures entrusted to our care.

Eastern States is an active, dynamic organization made up of a diverse workforce of dedicated civil servants.

  • We manage about 39 million acres of mineral estate, including substantial leasing for oil and gas, and environmentally sound development of coal, lead, zinc, limestone and phosphate.
  • We maintain more than 9 million historic land title records dating back to 1787. In order to preserve these records, we are automating them to make the information easily accessible to the public on the Internet.
  • We are the Nation's official surveyors, identifying, surveying, and maintaining legal boundaries on the Federal lands in the East, including our work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • We are the primary adoption arm of the Wild Horse and Burro Program, with almost 17,000 wild horses and burros placed in good homes during the past 5 years.
  • We manage one of few Outstanding Natural Areas in the Unitied States, the Jupiter Inlet in Florida, which is part of the National Landscape Conservation System.
  • We manage a wide variety of valuable resources on our small, scattered parcels of public lands, from irreplaceable cultural sites to unique habitats for threatened plant and animal species, located from the steamy swamps of Louisiana, to golden sand beachfronts in Florida, to pristine islands in the northwoods of Minnesota to highly visible sites near our Nation's Capitol at Meadowood Farm in Virginia and Douglas Point in Maryland.
  • We have the only Type 1 BLM elite wildland fire fighting crew east of the Mississippi River, the Jackson (MS) Interagency Hotshot Crew.
  • We also pride ourselves on working with thousands of invaluable partners, from minority schools to the Outdoor Writers Association of America, to provide environmental education and to make known the enormous opportunities that Americans own in their public lands.

During the history of the Bureau of Land Management's Eastern States, we have truly become Guardians of the Past--Stewards for the Future.