Land Use Authorizations - Permits & Leases
The BLM issues leases and permits to authorize certain kinds of development, uses or occupancy of the public lands. Leases and permits are issued for such activities as temporary or permanent commercial facilities (except on mining claims), harvesting native or introduced species, residential occupancy, recreation (e.g., camping, ski resorts), agriculture (crops, apiaries), construction equipment storage, livestock holding or feeding areas not related to a grazing permit, water pipelines and well pumps (for irrigation or other purposes), and advertising displays.
Leases for energy-related mineral development (geothermal, oil, natural gas, coal) are issued under separate BLM Minerals programs, but some activities and facilities associated with a development operation but located off the leasehold or off a mining claim may require a land use authorization.
The public lands have also long been popular locations for the motion picture industry. Special-use permits are issued for commercial filming (features films, documentaries, or advertisements) on lands managed by the BLM. Where filming or still photography goes beyond casual use, permits are required, with each local BLM Field Office retaining permitting authority for lands within its jurisdiction.