Land Use

What is FLPMA? 

What is Land Use Planning? 

What are the differences between Public Lands and Public Domain? 

Are there recreational opportunities on BLM's public lands? 

What does Right of Way (ROW) mean? 

How do I get a Right of Way grant? 

What is a withdrawal? 

Recreational & Public Purposes Act  - brochure, revised 1996 edition  (pdf 2711 kb)


 

What is FLPMA?

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 declared it the policy of the United States that: "....the public lands be retained in Federal ownership, unless as a result of the land use planning procedure provided in this Act, it is determined that disposal of a particular parcel will serve the national interest..."  Through FLPMA, Congress made it clear that the public lands should be held in public ownership and managed for "multiple use," defined as: "...the management of the public lands and their various resource values so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future needs for the American people..."

What is Land Use Planning?

Public lands are everyone's interest.  We count on you to tell us what is needed for fair land use management of the public land managed by BLM.  It's our job as planners to strike that balance between resource preservation and multiple user access.  The land-use planning process gives BLM employees a blueprint about how the public land should be managed and is your opportunity to get involved right from the start of the planning process.  While collaborating with tribal, State and local governments; interested parties are invited to participate so their needs can be addressed.  We encourage you to get involved in the planning process to help determine how the public lands will be managed.  Involvement by everyone who is interested in the public lands, will help ensure that the best possible plan is developed. 

What are the differences between Public Lands and Public Domain?

Public Lands are any land and interest in land owned by the United States within the several States and administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management, without regard to how the United States acquired ownership.                                                  
Public Domain applies to any or all of those areas of land ceded to the Federal Government by the Original States and to such other lands as were later acquired by treaty, purchase or cession, and are disposed of only under the authority of Congress.

Are there recreational opportunities on BLM's public lands?

BLM public lands offer more recreational opportunities over a broader geographical area than any other Federal land agency.  Recreational purposes include some of the following opportunities: hiking, fishing, hunting, boating, horseback riding, birding, fossil collecting, off-roading, camping, and visiting historical, archaeological, and cultural sites.  More information on recreation sites for all Federal public lands can be found at: http://www.recreation.gov

What does Right of Way (ROW) mean?

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 regarding ROW: click here.

How do I get a Right of Way grant?

A pre-application meeting with a BLM realty specialist is recommended on all right-of-way applications.  A Standard Government 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.  To access form SF 299: click here.

What is a withdrawal?

Public lands are withdrawn from certain land and mineral laws because they have been designated for a specific public purpose.  Withdrawals are formal lands actions that set aside, withhold, or reserve Federal land by statute or administrative order for public purposes.  A withdrawal creates a title encumbrance on the land.  Withdrawals are established for a wide variety of purposes such as power site reserves, military reservations, administrative sites, recreation sites, national parks, reclamation projects, wilderness areas, and others.  Withdrawals are often used to preserve sensitive environmental values and major Federal investments in facilities or other improvements, to support national security, and to provide for public health and safety.  For example, wetlands might be withdrawn from the mineral laws so no one would locate a mining claim in the ecologically sensitive wetland area.