Marc Kodack (Kodack@SMTP.LMS.USACE.ARMY.MIL)
Fri, 16 Dec 1994 07:37:36 -0600
The BLM is administers most Federal lands in the United
States. Of the approximately 700 million acres, not including
the outer continental shelf which is administered by the
Minerals Management Service, the BLM is responsible for
about 370 million acres. Other Department of Interior
agencies, of which the BLM is one, include the National Park
Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Large land
holding agencies that are not in Interior include the
Department of Agriculture's U.S. Forest Service and all
Department of Defense agencies.
The BLM is one of the older organizations int he Federal
government and predates both the Forest Service and NPS.
The BLM was created by combining the Grazing Service and
the Cadastral Survey in the late 1940's so under its BLM
moniker the organization hides its long history.
Each Department and agency have different ways in which
they manage lands they administer. For example, the BLM
and U.S.Forest Service emphasize multiple use. Thus,
mineral extraction, timber harvesting are as legitimate as
camping and hiking. Because of these multiple
responsibilities each agency also creates recreation areas in
which visitors can hike, fish, and camp. Recreation and the
use of public lands by visitors is not restricted to the NPS.
Each Federal land managing agency employs outdoor
recreation planners whose job it is to enhance the public's
ability to use and enjoy that agency's lands. They are after
all public lands.
Arne Carlsten is correct that it takes an act of Congress to
create a national park, but other units in the NPS were not
created that way. The President has the power under the
1906 Antiquities Act to set aside ANY federal land for its
natural or cultural values through the establishment of a
National Monument. The creation of a National Monument
requires no Congressional authorization. However, Congress
can have significant impacts to National Monuments by
refusing to fund any programs or staff them. Converting a
National Monument to a National Park does require an act of
Congress. A very recent example is incorporating Joshua
Tree National Monument into the new Desert Park in
Having multiple responsibilities for recreation is how each
agency attempts to fulfill multiple legal mandates. Should
Federal agencies that cut timber all have the Forest Service
manage this for them? Should all agencies that are required
to curate their archaeological collections have the NPS
manage their collections? I do no think so.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Mandatory Center of Expertise for Archaeological Curation
and Collections Management
1222 Spruce St.
St. Louis, MO 63103
voice: (314) 331-8468
fax: (314) 331-8895