This year marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 -- a landmark piece of legislation that changed not only the Bureau of Land Management and the make-up of its workforce, but the face of the West forever. This ambitious Act both recognized the value of our Nation’s public lands and provided a framework in which they could be managed in perpetuity for the benefit of present and future generations. It defined BLM’s mission as one of multiple use -- a new concept for the times, but which today stands as our agency’s great strength.
Our mission is unique among federal land-managing agencies and provides us with the best opportunity to meet the many and varied demands of the changing West. In 1976, few anticipated the West’s rapid growth and its associated demographic and economic changes, all of which have placed increased demands on the public lands. But because of the insight and vision of the people who crafted it, FLPMA provides us with the tools we need to cooperatively and creatively manage the public lands, and in the process, dispel the notion that a variety of uses and resources cannot co-exist.
The 25th anniversary of this remarkable law gives the agency the opportunity to celebrate BLM’s multiple-use mission and honor those who worked to bring it to fruition.