U.S. Bureau of Land Management

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The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is a federal agency tasked with regulating more than 245 million surface acres of public land. The bureau also administers approximately 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate. The bureau is a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior.[1]

The bureau's enacted budget for fiscal year 2014 was $1.266 billion. In fiscal year 2014, the BLM employed roughly 10,234 full-time equivalents.[2]


Congress created the General Land Office (GLO), a predecessor to today's BLM, in 1812. The office was tasked with overseeing the disposition of lands acquired from Spain, France and other nations. Throughout much of the 19th century, as the nation expanded westward, the settlement of these new, federally-held lands was emphasized. The Homestead Acts and the General Mining Law of 1872 were key in this effort.[3]

The first national parks, forests and wildlife refuges were established in the late 19th century using public lands. The Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 permitted the leasing, exploration and production of certain minerals (such as coal, oil and natural gas) on federally-held lands. The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 created the U.S. Grazing Service, which was charged with the management of public lands used as ranges for cattle grazing.[3]

GLO and the U.S. Grazing Service merged in 1946 to form BLM. In 1976, Congress passed the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, which declared that the nation's remaining public lands would remain in public ownership. The law also declared a "multiple-use" management policy. Multiple-use management is defined as "management of the public lands and their various resource values so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people."[3]



BLM's mission statement is as follows:[4]

It is the mission of the Bureau of Land Management to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.[5]

—U.S. Bureau of Land Management


Activities in the following three categories occur on federally-held land regulated by the bureau:[6]

1.) Commercial activities: the BLM manages land holdings designated for:

  • Oil, natural gas and coal exploration and development;
  • Forage for livestock;
  • Production of forest products

2.) Recreation: the BLM manages lands designated for:

  • Hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational activities.

3.) Conservation: the BLM manages holdings designated for:

  • Conservation programs, including preservation of endangered or threatened plant and animal species. The BLM holdings also contain fossils and other archaeological and anthropological artifacts

For a more comprehensive listing of the bureau's activities, click here.

Key federal-level staff

The table below lists key federal-level BLM staff as of August 8, 2014.[7]

BLM federal-level staff as of August 2014
Name Position
Neil Kornze Director
Steve Ellis Deputy Director of Operations
Linda Lance Deputy Directory of Policy
Janet Lin Chief of Staff
Salvatore Lauro Director; Office of Law Enforcement and Security
Mark Nielsen Acting Director; National Operations Center
Ron Dunton Acting Assistant Director; Fire and Aviation
Ed Roberson Assistant Director; Resources and Planning
Michael Nedd Assistant Director; Energy, Minerals and Realty Management
Carl Rountree Assistant Director; National Landscape Conservation System and Community Partnerships
Celia Boddington Assistant Director; Communications
Carole Carter-Pfisterer Assistant Director; Human Capital Management
Janine Velasco Assistant Director; Business Fiscal and Information Resources Management

Key state-level staff

The table below lists key state-level BLM staff as of August 8, 2014.[7]

Organization chart

The organization chart below is current as of August 8, 2014.

BLM org chart 8 8 2014.png

Budget and finance

The table below summarizes BLM appropriations and full-time equivalents (FTEs) for fiscal years 2014 (enacted) and 2015 (requested).

BLM appropriations and FTEs, FY 2014 and 2015 ($ in thousands)
Category 2014 (enacted) 2015 (requested) Percent difference
Appropriations amount FTEs Appropriations amount FTEs Appropriations amount FTEs
Current expenditures $1,119,109 6,486 $1,113,542 6,302 -0.50% -2.84%
Permanent and trust $147,369 646 $230,346 646 56.31% 0%
Reimbursable and other FTE $0 3,102 $0 3,423 0% 10.35%
Grand total 1,266,478 10,234 1,343,888 10,371 6.11% 1.34%
Source: U.S. Department of the Interior, "BLM 2015 Budget Highlights," accessed August 18, 2014

The bureau is one of relatively few federal agencies that collects more than it spends. Through the assessment of fees, collection of royalties, etc., BLM generated nearly $5 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2012 (the most recent year for which data appears to be available). In fiscal year 2007 (the most recent year for which comprehensive data is available), BLM generated approximately $4.3 billion in revenue. Roughly $2.0 billion of that was transferred directly to the states.[1][8]

In the news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Bureau + Land + Management

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management News Feed

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See also

External links