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Utility poles across the UFO


Uncompahgre Field Office




Communication tower on Storm King

 Buried utility cable 





The UFO initiates and responds to a variety of land and realty actions, including land exchanges, acquisitions, and easements. Acquisition of key parcels provides greater access to public lands and resources.  The UFO also works with local towns, cities, and counties in leasing and patenting lands for such uses as sanitary landfills, county maintenance shops, golf courses, fire stations, and public parks under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act.  Trespass is an increasing issue that includes such unauthorized uses as occupying, dumping, and agricultural development on BLM-administered lands.


The UFO manages approximately 2,500 rights-of-way for land uses such as roads, power lines, natural gas pipelines, water lines, telephone lines, communication sites, and ditches and canals on public land.  Requests for rights-of-way continue to rise each year in the UFO due to increased growth and development on private land, and the interface of private and urban land with public land, resulting from shifting land ownership patterns in the Uncompahgre and surrounding valleys.  Energy rights-of-way are on the rise, including large electric and natural gas transmission lines across the UFO and adjacent BLM field offices.


Land Tenure Adjustments

The BLM provides for land use, purchase, exchange, donation, and sale, determines federal land boundaries, and maintains historic records for these ownership transactions. Land ownership transfer is an important component of the BLM's land management strategy.  The BLM completes ownership transactions involving land and interests in land when such transactions are in the public interest and consistent with publicly-approved land use plans.


The Federal Lands Policy Management Act provides the BLM with the following land tenure adjustment tools:

Exchanges:  Land exchanges are considered on a case-by-case basis.  An exchange must be in the public interest, and lands proposed for acquisition must contain higher resource or public values than the public lands being disposed.

Acquisitions:  Acquisitions, including access easements, can be completed through purchases, including Land and Water Conservation Fund purchases, and donations or receipts from Federal Land Transaction Facilitations Act (FLTFA) sales.  FLTFA acquisitions are limited to lands adjacent to public lands with special designations, such as national monuments and conservation areas.

Sales:  Public lands have potential for disposal when they are isolated and difficult to manage.  Land sales are typically accomplished through competitive bid at fair market value.  Lands must be identified for disposal in the resource management plan prior to being offered for sale.

Recreation and Public Purposes:  The Recreation and Public Purposes (R&PP) Act of 1926 provides a means for state or local governments or non-profit organizations to acquire public lands at reduced or no cost, subject to BLM approval.  The conveyed land must be used for a specific public need or recreational purpose such as a hospital, school, or park.


Utility Corridors

Utility corridors for oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines and electricity transmission facilities on federal lands were approved in January 2009 in the Resource Management Plan Amendment/Record of Decision for Designation of Energy Corridors on Bureau of Land Management Administered Lands in the 11 Western States.

•BLM Lands and Realty Home

•Application for Transportation and Utility Systems and Facilities on Federal Lands - SF299

The BLM land tenure adjustment program is designed to:

  • Improve management of natural resources through consolidation of federal, state and private lands
  • Increase recreational opportunities and preserve open space
  • Secure key property necessary to protect endangered species and promote biological diversity
  • Preserve archaeological and historical resources
  • Implement specific acquisitions authorized by Acts of Congress
  • Allow for expansion of communities and consolidation of non-federal land ownership.


Teresa Pfifer, Acting Field Manager

Phone: (970) 240-5300  |  TDD: (970) 240-5366  |  FAX: (970) 240-5367

2465 S. Townsend Ave, Montrose, CO  81401

Office Hours: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Click on the address above for a map showing the location of

BLM Uncompahgre Field Office administrative headquarters


Utility Poles at Twilight