60 years of the BLM

Part 6 - A Change of Course

[Text from History of the BLM video, part 6]

Slide #35 History/Change of Course (title)

  • In the latter part of the 19th Century, visionary leaders began to see that unless there was a change of course, the West, including some of its most scenic and natural areas, would be mostly developed.

Slide#36 Forest and Park Reservations

  • Movements began within the Department of the Interior to protect some of these lands from development and set it aside.
  • First came the idea for national forest reserves—
  • By 1880, a National Parks Office was created within the Interior.

Slide#37 Forest and Park Reservations/Teddy

  • With the start of the 20 th century, the concept of conservation of western public land took hold.
  • Often referred to as the “father” of the conservation movement, Teddy Roosevelt, recognized that the public land resources were not what he called, “inexhaustible.”
  • He went so far as to declare,"There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country."
  • Credited with designation of five national parks and millions of acres of national forests, he also signed the Antiquities Act of 1906, leading to designation of most of the country’s national monuments.

Slide#38 GLO – Change of Mission

  • As the settlement of the West slowed, the General Land Office’s mission and scope began to diminish as well.
  • Between 1890 and 1933, the number of offices fell from one-hundred twenty three to twenty-five, reflecting a new mood in the country.

Slide#39 Taylor Grazing Act

  • On the western range, livestock and ranches were found to be more adaptable to the arid landscape.
  • Between the late 1800s and the 1930s, livestock grazing grew from 18,000 head to 4.2 million, mostly cattle.
  • Overgrazing and range wars had severe impacts.
  • In 1934, the Taylor Grazing Act, sponsored by Rep. Edward Taylor of Colorado, was passed to control this use over 175 million acres of western range.
The Grazing Service was established and Grazing Districts set up across the West.

60 Years of the BLM - History video, part 6: broadband, dial-up