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High Desert District
Release Date: 09/04/09
Contacts: Lorraine Keith 307-352-0399    
  Richard Putnam 307-352-0236    

BLM's New Fire Management Policy to Benefit Public and Private Lands

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) High Desert District today announced new BLM fire management policy that gives managers a full range of options to use in response to wildfires on BLM-administered public lands and, when requested by landowners, on private lands.

The policy provides for a full range of options, from full suppression to using fire as a tool to benefit natural resources, and now managers can use wildland fire to improve wildlife habitat and rangeland much the way prescribed burning is used to reduce hazardous fuels and restore fire back to its natural role. “Whether we are using fire as a tool or we're in suppression mode, the goal is always the same - to benefit the land,” said Richard Putnam, High Desert District fuels specialist.

According to Putnam, when a wildland fire occurs in an area where the resources would benefit and the conditions are right, then the fire can be managed for those resource benefits instead of being fully suppressed. Depending on the resource values that are present and taking into consideration firefighter and public safety, some level of suppression may still be required in certain areas, while in other areas the fire will be allowed to run its course.

Although the policy applies only to BLM-administered public lands, it also provides an opportunity for interested land owners to work with BLM in managing wildland fire on their private lands. Landowners can enter into an agreement with BLM which gives the private land owner the same range of fire management options and benefits that are available to BLM and, at no cost to the landowner.

For more information, please contact Richard Putnam at 307-352-0236.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

High Desert District   280 Highway 191 North      Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901  

Last updated: 09-04-2009