Lands & Realty


Each year hundreds of individuals and companies apply to the BLM for rights-of-way (ROW) on or across public lands. A ROW grant is an authorization to use a specific piece of public land for specific facilities for a specific period of time. Currently the vast majority of the ROWs granted are authorized by Title V of FLPMA (43 U.S.C. 1761-1771) and the Mineral Leasing Act (Section 28 of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as amended , 43 U.S.C. 185). It is the policy of the BLM to authorize all ROW applications at the discretion of the authorized officer in the most efficient and economical manner possible.

Rights-of-way grants - are authorizations issued for a variety of compatible uses of public land. Examples include roads, pipelines, communication sites, power lines, and telephone cables. It is recommended the applicant contact the local field office and present a description of the project and the purpose for the request. Find out more about rights-of-way application procedures. Download Right-of-Way Application Form SF299-09b (PDF). More information is available here.

FLPMA Rights-of-Way: As authorized by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), BLM will issue ROW grants for electrical power generation, transmission and distribution systems, systems for the transmission and reception of electronic signals and other means of communications, highways, railroads, pipelines (other than oil and gas pipelines) and other facilities or systems which are in the public interest.

Mineral Leasing Act Rights-of-Way: As authorized by the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA), BLM will issue ROW grants for oil and natural gas gathering, and distribution pipelines and related facilities (not authorized by appropriate leases) and oil and natural gas transmission pipeline and related facilities.

Glendale Bench

Filming on Public Lands

The public lands have long been a popular location for the motion picture industry. The western deserts, dry lakebeds, and mountain terrain are strong attractions to national and international television and film production companies. Many major motion pictures and television commercials have been filmed on public lands.

Special permits to use the public lands for commercial film production are issued by the BLM under Section 302(b) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Regulations governing filming on public lands are covered in 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 2920, Leases Permits, and Easements.

On May 26, 2000, the President signed Public Law 106-206 (100KB PDF), authorizing land management agencies in the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture to regulate commercial filming activities on Federal lands. This legislation gives the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service new authority to require permits for commercial filming and certain still photography activities on the Federal lands they manage. The Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management already had authority to do so, via the Organic Administration Act of 1897 and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976, respectively.

Public Law 106-206 augments those previous statutes for authorizing commercial filming and still photography activities. In doing so, it clarifies policy on the requirements for commercial filming and still photography permits and establishes limitations on filming activities for the protection of resources. Bureau guidance implementing PL 106-206, was issued under Instruction Memorandum 2004-073.







Section 302 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) provides the BLM's authority to issue leases and permits for the use, occupancy, and development of the public lands. Leases and permits are issued for purposes such as a commercial filming, advertising displays, commercial or noncommercial croplands, apiaries, livestock holding or feeding areas not related to grazing permits and leases, harvesting of native or introduced species, temporary or permanent facilities for commercial purposes (does not include mining claims), residential occupancy, ski resorts, construction equipment storage sites, assembly yards, oil rig stacking sites, mining claim occupancy if the residential structures are not incidental to the mining operation, and water pipelines and well pumps related to irrigation and non-irrigation facilities. The regulations establishing procedures for the processing of these leases and permits are found in 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 2920.