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We're a small agency with a big mission.

Center Content: 

History of BLM

El Malpais National Conservation Area, New Mexico, photo by Bob Wick, BLMThe 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 President Harry S. Truman, by means of a government reorganization, merged the GLO and another agency, the U.S. Grazing Service, creating the BLM.  

Explore BLM’s history through stories, video and more.

How We Manage

The BLM manages across regions and landscapes, with partners and using sound science.  Before you explore our programs, understand the foundation of how we manage.