The Bureau of Land Management


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Last updated: 06/15/11

Subsurface Acreage Managed by the BLM

Besides managing 258 million surface acres, the BLM administers the Federal mineral estate beneath that acreage. The Bureau also manages the mineral estate beneath lands administered by the following Federal agencies:

Forest Service (191 million acres),
Fish and Wildlife Service (93 million acres),
National Park Service (84 million acres),
and the Department of Defense/Army Corps of Engineers (12 million acres).

In addition, the BLM manages 58 million acres of Federal mineral estate beneath surface lands owned by non-Federal (state and private) entities; these split-ownership lands are known as "split estate." In all, the BLM manages nearly 700 million acres of Federal sub-surface mineral estate across the nation.

It should be noted that while the BLM has the responsibility of managing Federal minerals beneath lands managed by the National Park Service (NPS), nearly all NPS lands are withdrawn from mineral leasing and development activities. Although mineral leasing occurs in a few units of the National Wildlife Refuge System, which is managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service, most refuge lands are withdrawn from mineral leasing or have no mineral potential.

It should also be pointed out that the BLM, as part of its trust responsibility, oversees mineral operations on 56 million acres of Indian lands.

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