The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 gave the Bureau of Land Management authority to inventory its lands for wilderness characteristics and protect those values by designating wilderness study areas.
This paper looks back at the evolution of the BLM’s conservation mission as a vital part of its mandate, including multiple use, through the agency’s creation and the first fundamental shifts toward retaining public lands for public use and management.
In 2025, just 15 years from now, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act will have been guiding the agency’s management for 50 years. In that same year, the National Landscape Conservation System will turn 25.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument — a treasure trove of Puebloan artifacts in Colorado, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument — the last place mapped in the Lower 48 States, Las Cienegas National Conservation Area — where the history of ranching and protection of grassland bird species come together in Arizona. These are a small sample of the vast landscapes in the National Landscape Conservation System (Conservation Lands).