Over the past 40 years, Americans have expressed a dynamic and accelerated interest in outdoor recreation. Our expanding urban populations, increased mobility and leisure time, and higher standard of living have created a demand for more and better recreation facilities. By the same token, urban expansion and a growing population have increased the need for more public services, such as schools, community buildings, hospitals, and sanitary landfills, just to name a few.
Recognizing the strong public need for a nationwide system of parks and other recreational and public purposes areas, the Congress, in 1954, enacted the Recreation and Public Purposes Act (68 Statute 173; 43 United States Code 869 et. seq.) as a complete revision of the Recreation Act of 1926 (44 Stat. 741). This law is administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The act authorizes the sale or lease of public lands for recreational or public purposes to State and local governments and to qualified nonprofit organizations. Examples of typical uses under the act are historic monument sites, campgrounds, schools, fire houses, law enforcement facilities, municipal facilities, landfills, hospitals, parks, and fairgrounds.
A pamphlet designed to guide prospective applicants in obtaining lands and benefits under the act is available from BLM State Offices. Department of the Interior regulations for the Recreation and Public Purposes Act are found in Title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (43 CFR), Parts 2740 (Sales) and 2912 (Leases).