BLM seeing more occurrences of unauthorized use on public land


Bureau of Land Management

BLM Office:

Carson City District Office

Media Contact:

CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management, Carson City District, would like to remind the public of the following information concerning use of public land when authorization(s) are required.

“We’ve seen an increase in realty trespass and want to remind the public to check with their local BLM office on rights-of-way, property boundaries, and development on public land,” said Victoria Wilkins, Acting Sierra Front Field Manager. “We want to work with people to make sure they aren’t in trespass before they start rather than discovering it later which can result in fines or other penalties.”

Before starting a road, fuel break, fence, etc., people should check for the following things:

Is their project on private or public land? Has this been confirmed by a survey?

Do they need a right-of-way (ROW) or other BLM authorization?

Realty trespass is defined as unauthorized use, occupancy, or development of the public lands for any purpose where authorization must be obtained under regulations. Please contact the BLM for further information on specific regulations.

Developing new roads and fuel breaks on public land would require authorization from the BLM. Without this authorization it could potentially be considered a trespass action. 

The BLM's realty trespass regulations, in general, provide that anyone determined by the authorized officer to be in trespass on the public lands shall be notified of such trespass and shall be liable to the United States for:

1. The administrative costs incurred by the United States as a consequence of such trespass.

2. The fair market value rental of the lands (i.e., land rent) or the charge for road use, amortization and maintenance, for the current year and past years of trespass.

3. Rehabilitating and stabilizing the land or costs incurred by the United States in rehabilitating and stabilizing the land.

If a realty trespass is willful, repeated or not resolved in a timely manner, the trespasser may also be subject to trespass penalties of:

1. An amount equal to twice the fair market value rental of the land or twice the charges for road use, amortization and maintenance, for non-willful trespass.

2. An amount equal to three times the fair market value rental of the land or three times the charges for road use, amortization and maintenance, for knowing and willful trespass.

To obtain information about a ROW or other authorizations, please visit:

For questions regarding realty trespass, please call: 775-885-6028 or email

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.