Your American Lands Podcast Introduction


Audio file:


You are listening to Your American Lands, a conversational podcast where we talk to the various scientists, firefighters, land managers, and all around fascinating people at the Bureau of Land Management. Join us as we talk about conservation, recreation, and commercial uses for your public lands.


Matthew Buffington: What is up y’all?  You are listening to Your American Lands.  The official podcast from the Bureau of Land Management. I’ve realized that if you are out West, you are likely already familiar with the Bureau of Land Management. If you are out East or in the Midwest, perhaps not so much. The Bureau of Land Management oversees roughly 245 million acres or 10% of the United States.  This is just a tad smaller than the surface area of Texas. 

As directed by Congress, the Bureau follows what is called a multiple-use mandate for managing public land.  Basically, you can divide up exactly how the Bureau of Land Management works into three categories: Conservation, Recreation, and Commercial usage.  Overall, this generates over 111 Billion dollars in economic output and nearly half a million jobs.

As you can imagine, people don’t always agree on how the Bureau of Land Management should manage all of this land.  Every decision will make one group happy and another group upset. And the public, civil servants that work at the Bureau of Land Management are often caught in the middle trying to balance various interests and priorities, while also following the law. Far too often, these federal employees are seen as faceless bureaucrats working in the shadows. But these are fellow Americans who have chosen careers in public service, they have families and mostly live in the West in the communities connected to these public lands.

The vision of this podcast is for all of you listening to get to know these civil servants. I want you to hear their stories and learn about what they do day to day.  This is meant to be a conversational, free flowing podcast where we can hang out and get a little into the nuance.

Here is a little taste of what we have lined up:

Grant Beebe: The regional smoke impacts over the last couple years have really been profound. I think it's caught the attention of a lot of folks who might not have thought, before about wildfires. They might have thought, oh, that's just a Western thing. I think it makes a little more real to folks that we've got to do something different about how we're managing fire.

Harry Barbar: For a wildlife biologist, it was a really fun opportunity. We spent about five years doing baseline studies and developed this list of species.

Scott Foss: I think you just hit on the central theme to everything that BLM is about. And it's about this multiple-use and multiple values. And I value paleontology. And I'm not saying you can't do the right of way or shouldn't allow off-road vehicles or any of these things, but my job is to speak up for the fossils.

Matthew Buffington: If you want to reach out to the podcast, you can find us on the major social media accounts @BLMNational.   

So go ahead and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcast app and we will have a new episode up every week right here on Your American Lands.