What Is the Bureau of Land Management? 

The Bureau of Land Management is an agency within the United States Department of Interior that administers federal lands. With headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado, it governs nearly one-eighth of the country’s total landmass. Learn about their mission and the various programs they run. Here, you’ll learn about the National Landscape Conservation System, the Historic preservation program, and climate change’s effect on public lands.

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National Landscape Conservation System 

The Bureau of Land Management manages more than 30 million acres of public lands across the United States. These areas include 23 national monuments, 221 wilderness areas, and 636 other protected areas. The agency also manages over 63,000 oil and gas leases, and in 2013, it received more than $5.4 billion in revenue from oil and gas leases. That money is divided among the states and the Treasury, and some are distributed to Native groups. 

The BLM National Landscape Conservation System is a unique model for the long-term conservation of national landscapes. It is a comprehensive framework for land protection and is tailored to each location and situation. For example, the National Conservation Lands in Nevada is a great example of the diversity of land units protected under this system and contributes to nature access and outdoor recreation in the state. Ultimately, the Bureau of Land Management’s goal is to protect 30 percent of the country’s landscapes through the National Landscape Conservation System.  

Historic preservation program 

A historic preservation program is a vital aspect of a land management agency’s mission. This program helps federal agencies manage and protect historic properties. Whether an agency has a large portfolio of properties or only manages a few, its historic properties are in a prime position to benefit from preservation efforts. By implementing an effective preservation program, agencies can make a difference in historic preservation while maintaining a high level of efficiency.  

Besides conserving historic resources, historic preservation helps people understand the past. By preserving and interpreting these resources, we create a stronger community, encourage local economic development, and preserve our natural resources. Preserving a historic place requires preserving its distinctive characteristics. It is important to use only materials that enhance the historic qualities of a place. In some cases, these places may be restored to their original use or may be adapted to new uses. For example, a former schoolhouse may be converted into a museum or visitor’s center.  

Impacts of climate change on public lands 

The impact of climate change on public lands is a major concern for natural resource managers. However, many of them are not equipped to incorporate climate change science into their adaptation strategies. In addition, they are often not informed about the latest scientific findings. This situation is particularly pressing for the Bureau of Land Management, one of the leading natural resource management agencies in the United States. The Bureau oversees more than two hundred and forty million acres of public lands. Many of these lands have multiple lands uses, and climate change could increase conflicts between these different uses.  

The production of fossil fuels on public lands is contributing to climate change in many ways. Currently, America’s public lands release nearly four times more carbon into the atmosphere than they can absorb. In addition, nearly ten million acres of public land are currently leased to extract fossil fuels, an area larger than the state of Maryland. Despite these problems, the Interior Department can still implement a number of measures to reduce emissions. For example, they can prioritize the development of renewable energy on public lands. They can also manage public lands to absorb more carbon. They can also use these lands to implement negative-emission technologies such as wind and solar.  

Methods used in making decisions about resource management plans 

In making decisions about resource management plans, the Bureau of Land Management must consider a wide range of information. This includes data and scientific information, as well as the best available information on the management of natural resources. The final rule also includes requirements that the BLM work with local, state, and tribal governments to identify issues and develop alternatives.  

During this process, the BLM will seek public input from stakeholders and governmental partners. It will make draft resource management alternatives available for public comment, and the public can raise concerns before the BLM starts analyzing those alternatives. It will then prepare a draft resource management plan based on public input.