United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

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A organizational summary by the ENVS 560/L Watershed Systems class at CSUMB.

This page is an introduction to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with specific emphasis on the Central Coast of California.


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is a federal agency within the United States Department of the Interior (DOI). BLM manages both surface and subsurface public domain including public lands, mineral rights, and wilderness areas. BLM is responsible for administering National Monuments. [1] Within California's Central Coast Region, Fort Ord National Monument (FONM), California Coastal National Monument (CCNM), and Carrizo Plain National Monument are three notable areas that BLM oversees.


BLM's mission is: "To sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations." [1] BLM strives to ensure natural, cultural, and historic resources are maintained for current and potential use. To carry out this mission, BLM manages public lands in the interest of maximizing opportunities for commercial, recreational, and conservation activities. This multi-use strategy promotes healthy and productive public lands that promote jobs in local communities while upholding traditional land uses. These uses may include responsible energy development, timber harvesting, grazing, and recreation such as hunting and fishing. [1]

Legal Status / Authority

BLM was formed in 1946 by President Harry S. Truman in the consolidation of two existing government agencies, the General Land Office and the Grazing Service. The creation of the BLM provided a formal authority within the Executive Branch to oversee these administrative efforts. [1] In the first half of the 20th century, there was considerable overlap and discontinuity among the United States' existing catalog of federal legislation on public land management. Initially, BLM was assigned to administer only grazing lands but over the years took on additional authority as the interests of the nation shifted and the administration of mineral rights became a higher priority. The BLM's official legislative doctrine, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), passed in 1976, formally cemented the agency's unified directives into federal law. [2]


While BLM does possess authority on the oversight of public lands, wilderness areas, and mineral resources, the Secretary of Interior represents BLM within the Cabinet and as such reports directly to the nation's head executive.

Organizational Structure

BLM's top leadership position within its ranks is the Director. The Director is nominated by the US President and confirmed by the US Senate.

The agency operates under the United States Department of the Interior (DOI)'s twelve Unified Interior Region Boundaries. The region boundaries were drawn based on watersheds and state lines to simplify coordination across and outside DOI. Both individual US states and groups of states have BLM State Offices. Below State Offices, BLM divides jurisdiction further into District Offices which contain several Field Offices. For example, the BLM Central Coast Field Office is located within the Central California District Office.

BLM lands in California's Central Coast region

National Monuments

Special Management Areas

Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC)

Other Public Lands

Related Links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Bureau of Land Management https://www.blm.gov/about
  2. Bureau of Land Management https://web.archive.org/web/20141126221553/http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/About_BLM/History.print.html


This page may contain student work completed as part of assigned coursework. It may not be accurate. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of CSUMB, its staff, or students.