Castoffs and leftovers: A Candid Description of the BLM
From the Journal: 9/21/2011 (Alpaugh, California)
Today I was treated to a bit of an explanation about how the department of the interior divvied up its holdings. The Parks Service got everything that was truly extraordinary: Yellowstone, Sequoia, Yosemite, The Everglades, et al. The Forest Service, being originally devoted to harvesting timber, was given all the really productive forests. The Green Mountains, The White Mountains, and the Finger lakes all spring to mind. Finally, the Borough of Land Management (BLM) got everything that the federal government couldn’t give away to homesteaders. They got the barren mountains, the driest (and least picturesque deserts), the scrub-land, and the swamps.
As far as I can tell, this is largely true. The BLM manages truly staggering amounts of land, 264 MILLION acres total (70 Million more than the forest service), and in my limited experience they seem to be fairly pragmatic about their day-to-day operations. Much of the land is multi-use, meaning people are free to come and go on it as they please, however other tracts have been designated for energy production (both fossil fuel derived and green), grazing, and species conservation.
Perhaps more relevant to me (and you gentle bio-friendly reader), since they don’t get the press that the other arms of the Department of the Interior do, the competition for jobs within the BLM is far lower.