A Look at BLM’s New Public Lands Rule and Other Management Policies

Collected resources on the agency’s move to put conservation, recreation on equal footing with other uses

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A Look at BLM’s New Public Lands Rule and Other Management Policies
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Tony Bynum for The Pew Charitable Trusts

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversees a quarter of a billion acres of U.S. public lands, more than any other federal agency.  Federal law requires the BLM to revise, every two decades, the management plans for each of the more than 100 areas under its jurisdiction.

The BLM’s mission, as determined by Congress, is to manage public landscapes to support multiple uses and the sustained yield, or long-term health and sustainability, of their natural resources. Historically, however, BLM policy has prioritized extractive activities, such as mining, oil and gas exploration, and other development, over conservation and outdoor recreation. As a result, more than 90% of BLM lands were open to development as of the end of 2023.  But in 2023, the BLM issued draft regulations to put conservation on equal footing with these other uses.

The agency has also released several updated place-based management plans in 2024 that provide greater protections for existing public lands and rivers in eastern Colorado and southeast Oregon that are ecologically significant.

The research and analysis collected here explore the draft regulation, the focus of updated land use plans, and how those plans serve communities, wildlife, and nature.

Press Releases & Statements

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Press Releases & Statements

In a major step toward improving the management of millions of acres of federally owned lands throughout the U.S., the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today issued its final Conservation and Landscape Health Rule, which will better balance conservation, recreation, and industrial uses.

Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Land Management
Press Releases & Statements

Pew Applauds Federal Public Land Conservation Policy

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Press Releases & Statements

In a major step toward improving the management of millions of acres of federally owned lands throughout the U.S., the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today issued its final Conservation and Landscape Health Rule, which will better balance conservation, recreation, and industrial uses.

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