Three female backpackers looking at a map

Recreation & Public Purposes Act

Congress passed the first version of the Recreation & Public Purposes (R&PP) Act in 1926 and modernized it in 1954 to meet growing demand for places to recreate in the outdoors and a growing need for public services. 

The Act allows the BLM to sell or lease public lands identified in its resource management plans to state and local governments or qualified non-profit organizations, for recreational use or other public purposes. 

Lands conveyed under the R&PP Act have become locations for historic monument sites, campgrounds, schools, courthouses, parks, firehouses, law enforcement facilities, municipal facilities, landfills and water treatment plants, fairgrounds and hospitals. 

Public lands within National Forests, National Parks and Monuments, National Wildlife Refuges, Indian lands, and acquired lands are not eligible under the Act. About 2 million acres of revested Oregon and California Railroad (O&C) and Coos Bay Wagon Road grant lands in western Oregon may only be leased by public agencies and municipal corporations.