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Lands and Realty
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Military Withdrawals

Public lands may be withdrawn and reserved for military training and testing in support of our national defense requirements. Such withdrawals and reservations are authorized by Act of Congress (for withdrawals of over 5,000 acres) or by order of the Secretary of the Interior (for withdrawals of less than 5,000 acres). Lands so designated are usually withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the public land laws, including the mining laws, but not the mineral and geothermal leasing laws and the Materials Act of 1947. The most recent legislative withdrawals of public lands for military purposes are:

P.L. 106-65, October 5, 1999, which extended the withdrawal for:

  • Alaska -- Fort Greely and the Yukon Range at Fort Wainwright (Army)
  • Arizona -- Barry M. Goldwater Range (Air Force and Marine Corps)
  • Nevada -- Nellis Air Force Range and the Naval Air Station Fallon Ranges
  • New Mexico -- McGregor Range, associated with Fort Bliss (Army)

Public Law 107-107, Title XXIX, December 28, 2001, withdrew and reserved for military purposes an additional 110,000 acres for Fort Irwin, CA

Withdrawal Review

Withdrawal review is a process that enables the Department (DOI) to determine if a withdrawal is still being used for the purpose for which it was established. The principle withdrawal review authority is Section 204 (L) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), which requires a review of the majority of withdrawn lands in the western states, excluding Alaska.