BLM seeks public input on Army request to expand Yuma Proving Ground

PHOENIX — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking public input on an application from the U.S. Army to add 22,000 acres of public land to the Yuma Proving Ground in southwestern Arizona. The Army requests withdrawal and reservation of this land for a precision parachute safety buffer area that would support its national defense testing and training mission.  

The BLM will serve as a cooperating agency to the Army, which will prepare a Legislative Environmental Impact Statement analyzing the environmental consequences of the proposal. The Secretary of the Interior will then make a recommendation to the U.S. Congress, which will make the final decision regarding whether to approve adding the 22,000 acres of public land to Yuma Proving Ground.  

“The Yuma Proving Ground is an important component of our national defense,” said BLM Arizona State Director Raymond Suazo.  “The BLM is committed to assisting the Army with a thorough environmental analysis that will provide the Secretary and the Congress with the information necessary to make their decision.” 

Under the Army’s proposal, the public land, which is located adjacent to Yuma Proving Ground near Highway 95, would be reserved for national defense. The land would be withdrawn from future uses under the public land laws--including the mining, mineral, and geothermal leasing laws--subject to valid existing rights. Other land uses, such as permitted recreation and licensed hunting, would be subject to any authorities specified in the enacted legislation. 

A Notice of Withdrawal Application and Public Meetings was published in today’s Federal Register; this publication segregates the land from appropriation under the laws specified in the notice for two years, initiates a 90-day public comment period, and announces an opportunity to participate in two virtual public meetings that will be hosted jointly by the Army and BLM. The public may submit comments on the Army’s withdrawal application from today until July 5, 2022. Comments may be emailed to or sent through the mail to: 

Bureau of Land Management, Arizona 
Attn: Michael Ouellett 
One North Central Avenue 
Suite 800 
Phoenix, Arizona 85004 

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. 

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.

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Bureau of Land Management


June Lowery, Public Affairs Specialist