BLM and Western States Land Commissioners Association Renew Commitment to Partnership
WASHINGTON, DC – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Western States Land Commissioners Association (WSLCA) have renewed their longstanding partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides the next step in recognizing the importance of landscape-level approaches to land and resources management across state and federal boundaries.
BLM Acting Director Mike Pool said, “The BLM values the longstanding relationship we have enjoyed with WSLCA. This MOU helps to guide our path forward on common issues, enhances communication and strengthens the partnership so that we can work toward accomplishing the mutual goals of BLM and WSLCA.”
WSLCA President Jarrod Johnson said renewing the agreement will lead to better stewardship of lands important to all.
“As the nation’s second largest managers of lands in the United States, the Western States Land Commissioners look forward to working with the Bureau to coordinate our management efforts, resolve land tenure issues, and successfully perform our fiduciary responsibilities to fund public education in our 23 member states.” Johnson said. “The agreement with the Bureau lays the groundwork for better communication, better management of millions of acres of lands, and the fulfillment of our separate management mandates.”
With a goal of advancing the long-range management objectives of both organizations by resolving outstanding state indemnity selections and identifying and prioritizing state-federal land exchanges and other realty actions, the MOU enables the BLM and WSLCA to work together in broader, more creative ways.
The BLM and WSLCA will have an opportunity to exhibit the tenets of collaboration in the MOU at WSLCA’s upcoming Winter Conference in Oklahoma City, Jan. 13-17. BLM Assistant Director for Minerals and Realty Management, Mike Nedd, will represent the agency at that meeting.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.