Fractured Land Patterns -- History of BLM Videos

This two part series on the history of BLM was created in the mid 1980's as an interpretation of BLM’s colorful history by then bureau land law historian Jim Muhn and author Larry Pointer, who was a training center division chief at the time. The historical perspective they present centers around the uses, federal laws, and landmark events on America’s public lands which contributed to the fractured land ownership patterns that remain today.

Produced when the National Training Center (NTC) was called the Phoenix Training Center, the thirteen chapters in this chronology trace the settlement of the West from colonial times through the passage of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), which provides BLM with its multiple use mission.

Set against the backdrop of dynamic economic, social, and environmental change, and with shifting national priorities, this series explains how the missions of the General Land Office and the U.S. Grazing Service were merged with a stroke of the pen by President Harry S. Truman in 1946 to create the Bureau of Land Management. For best performance, we recommend broadband access for viewing the videos.

Disclaimer: The opinions and statements of non-BLM personnel are included to illustrate alternative points of view at the time and do not necessarily represent the official position of the BLM.

Note: To our hearing impaired visitors, transcripts will be available in the next few weeks.

Part 1 - The Public Disposal Era (1776 - early 1900's)

     Segment One- The Lands That Remain and Series Introduction (5mins, 8.73 Mb)
     Segment Two – Surveying The Land (5 mins, 11.01 Mb)
     Segment Three – The Early Disposal Policies (5 mins, 10.88 Mb)
     Segment Four – When Grass Was Gold  (7 mins, 14.45 Mb)
     Segment Five – Indian Lands (2 mins, 4.09 Mb)
     Segment Six – The Mineral Frontier and Part I Conclusion (7 mins, 13.58 Mb)

Part 2 - Conservation and Beyond (early 1900's to mid 1980's)

     Segment Seven – Conservation Begins and Part II Introduction
     Segment Eight – The Problem of Free Range
     Segment Nine – Oregon and California Timber
     Segment Ten – The Dust Bowl Era
     Segment Eleven – Creating The BLM
     Segment Twelve – No Clear Mandate
     Segment Thirteen – Our Multiple Use Mandate and Series Conclusion