Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA)

After the bureau of Land Management (BLM) began formal planning for public lands under its charge in 1969, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976 was passed due to congressional dissatisfaction with BLM land and resource management. According to the BLM, “FLPMA is called the BLM Organic Act because it consolidated and articulated BLM's management responsibilities.” The FLPMA is a BLM-specific law. The statute reduces agency flexibility, increases agency accountability to itself and Congress, and dictates an “intensive, but imprecise planning process” that requires “vast bureaucratic resources and produce[s] mountains of paperwork.”

Under FLPMA, decisionmakers at the BLM are required to consider the interests of all public land users before they determine how lands will be managed. The statute was ultimately designed ...

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