BLM Arizona is responsible for managing 12.1 million surface acres of public lands and 17 million acres of subsurface mineral estate in Arizona. The Lands and Realty program is responsible for completing land exchanges, sales, and acquisitions issuing rights of way, authorizations for renewable and nonrenewable energy production, leases and permits, color-of-title and processing and managing workload related to withdrawals. Other use authorizations, which are all processed at the field office level, include rights-of-way for support of community growth, road access, communication sites, film permits, long-term leases, and Recreation and Public Purpose (R&PP) leases. BLM processes new withdrawal actions and withdrawal revocations for all of the federal land managing agencies.
The BLM completes ownership transactions involving land and interests in land when such transactions are in the public interest and consistent with publicly-approved land use plans. Public land parcels that are no longer needed in federal ownership may be offered for competitive public sale. BLM acquires properties or interests in properties to enhance public access and protect resource values. BLM also has an active road easement acquisition program to gain access to the public lands for administrative and public use.
Each year, thousands of individuals and companies apply to the BLM to obtain rights-of-way (ROW) on public land. A ROW grant is an authorization to use a specific piece of public land for a certain project, such as roads, pipelines, transmission lines, and communication sites. A ROW grant authorizes rights and privileges for a specific use of the land for a specific period of time.
Section 302 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) authorizes the BLM to issue leases and permits for the public to use, occupy, and develop public lands. Leases and permits are issued for commercial filming, croplands, apiaries, temporary or permanent facilities for commercial purposes, residential occupancy, storage sites, water pipelines, and for local community uses. The regulations establishing procedures to process these leases and permits are found in 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 2920.