Conservation Lands manuals will help protect spectacular landscapes

Little Jacks Creek wilderness area in Idaho is one of the many units managed by the BLM.

Photo by John McCarthy, The Wilderness Society

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released the first ever national policy manuals for guiding the management of the National Landscape Conservation System.

Our National Conservation Lands were designated specifically to conserve, protect and restore some of the most outstanding landscapes in the country. With the added guidance provided by new manuals, the BLM is well on its way toward meeting these goals.


The Conservation Lands manuals are the latest step in developing unified national policy for the Conservation lands. They provide guidance for implementing national goals at the local level.

Most importantly, they will help ensure that the Conservation Lands are managed for the values for which they were established: to conserve, protect and restore America’s treasured landscapes.

What does this mean for the places we love?

Under the direction of the new manuals, the BLM must ensure these lands are being managed principally for conservation.

As a result, the historic, ecological and cultural significance of these magnificent landscapes will be protected for generations to come.

  • Scenic values of the landscape will be emphasized.
  • Conservation Lands will be protected from development.
  • Critical habitats will be protected and restored, allowing for the recovery of endangered species.
  • Our cultural heritage will be protected. 
  • Human footprint will be reduced as BLM inventories all existing roads and structures for maintenance, closure or removal.
  • New facilities will be developed to enhance local communities and economies and to reduce impacts to Conservation Lands.
  • Community outreach and partnerships will be emphasized.

Next steps

The BLM emphasizes community partnerships as a high priority and aims to inspire all American’s to care for these majestic landscapes.    

The Wilderness Society is working to ensure that the BLM adequately implements national directives to conserve, protect and restore these lands for future generations.

We can do this more effectively through community collaboration with the BLM through outreach, education and stewardship of our National Conservation Lands.

This article was written by Cameron Witten, The Wilderness Society's National Landscape Conservation System fellow.