Covered wagon travels the Oregon-California-Pony Express Historic Trail, Wyoming, photo by Bob Wick, BLM

History of the BLM

Our Heritage, Our Future.

Cadastral Survey in Colorado, 1960, Photo courtesy BLM ColoradoThe BLM was established in 1946, but its roots go back to the years after America’s independence, when the young nation began acquiring additional lands.  At first, these lands were used to encourage homesteading and westward migration.  The General Land Office was created in 1812 to support this national goal.
Over time, values and attitudes regarding public lands shifted, and Congress merged the GLO and another agency, the U.S. Grazing Service, creating the BLM.  

Discover the national history of BLM lands and resources.

Read about the BLM regional history.

Experience History 

Rock art in BLM New Mexico. BLM photo

Love history?  Dig dinosaurs?  Then these web pages are for you, from paleontology to homesteading to cultural resources.  Head on over to our Cultural Heritage and Paleontology page now.