Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

Definition - What does Bureau of Land Management (BLM) mean?

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is an agency within the United States Department of the interior which administers public lands in the U.S. It administers more than 247.3 million acres of land which constitutes one-eighth of the country's landmass. The agency was created by President Harry S. Truman in 1946 by combining the two existing agencies – Grazing Service and General Land Office. The aim of BLM is to sustain diversity, health and productivity of public lands for enjoyment and use of present and future generations. The BLM holdings were originally described as "land nobody wanted" as they were passed by homesteaders.

Petropedia explains Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

The Bureau of Land Management works on the following programs:

  • Grazing: Under Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, BLM manages livestock grazing on around 155 million acres.
  • Timberlands: It manages around 55 million acres of woodlands and forests that include over 11 million acres of the commercial forests and around 44 million acres of woodlands in Alaska and 11 western states.
  • Mining: BLM accounts for about 11% of natural gas and oil supply in the United States and the domestic production of oil from more than 63,000 Federal onshore gas and oil wells on.
  • Recreation: It administers 2.2 million acres of lakes, 205,000 miles of fishable streams, 500 boating access points, 6,600 miles of floatable rivers, 300 of the watchable wildlife sites and 69 National Back Country Byways.
  • Coal Leases: It holds more than 57 million acres of coal mineral estate where the local, state or federal government or private entity are the owners of the surface.
  • California Desert Conservation Area: It covers over 25 million acres of the land in Southern California designated by the Congress in the year 1976.
  • Firefighting: BLM has virtually 3,000 full time firefighting personnel.
  • Cadastral Surveys: It is an official record keeper for around 200 years’ worth of the cadastral survey plats and records as a part of Public Land Survey System.
  • Helium: BLM operates National Helium Reserve near Amarillo that started in 1925 during the Zeppelin Wars.
  • Abandoned Mine: It is responsible for maintaining an inventory of the known abandoned mines on all lands it manages.
  • Revenue and fees: It produces significant revenue for US budget.
  • Energy Corridors: Around 5,000 miles of energy corridors for transmission lines and pipelines are located on the BLM managed lands.
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