BLM extends withdrawal for Langmuir Principal Research Site


Bureau of Land Management

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Socorro Field Office

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Photo of two people with weather balloons at the Langmuir Principal Research Site Photo

SOCORRO, N.M.The Bureau of Land Management today announced the extension for an additional 20 years of the withdrawal of 851.72 acres of National Forest System lands from location and entry under the United States mining laws, in order to continue the protection of the Langmuir Principal Research Site in Socorro County.

The withdrawal protects the Forest Service’s investment at the site from potential earth disturbing activities associated with mining, and preserves the site’s research focus. The Forest Service and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology use the site to study thundercloud mechanisms, lightning, and precipitation. The location and the unique climate of the area make the site ideal for studying the physics of weather. Extension of this withdrawal will allow the Forest Service and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology to continue to use this area to research, understand, and predict weather patterns throughout the southwest. 

This action comes in response to an application for withdrawal extension submitted by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southwestern Region (Forest Service). BLM published notice of the Forest Service application in the Federal Register on June 14, 2023, initiating a 90-day comment period, and announced an opportunity to request a public meeting. No comments were received, nor were any requests made to hold a public meeting regarding the application.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.