Public Lands Withdrawn in the Railroad Valley for NASA Satellite Calibration Activities


Bureau of Land Management

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to an application from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Bureau of Land Management announced today that approximately 22,684 acres of public lands in Nye County, Nevada, have been withdrawn for a twenty-year period from all forms of mineral entry under the public land laws, subject to valid existing rights. This action was requested in April 2021 by NASA to preserve the integrity of the land surface in the withdrawal area, which is used to calibrate NASA’s Earth-observing satellites.

As the applicant for the proposed land withdrawal, NASA was the lead federal agency for preparation of National Environmental Policy Act documents analyzing the proposal.  BLM reviewed the application consistent with its land withdrawal regulations. Following today’s action, the land will remain under the administrative jurisdiction of the BLM, for management under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and other applicable laws. The BLM, in coordination with NASA, will seek to ensure that future management actions are not inconsistent with the purpose for which the land is withdrawn.

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.