National Landscape Conservation System releases 15-year management strategy
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) last week released a 15-year strategy to guide National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) land management efforts in coming years.
“By continuing to collaborate and successfully develop new partnerships, the BLM can ensure that future generations of Americans have the chance to use and experience these incredible lands just as we do today,” said BLM Director Bob Abbey.
NLCS, which includes some of the most spectacular and special lands in America, is part of the more than 245 million acres administered by BLM. Managed for multiple uses, America’s resource-rich public lands provide the nation with vital commodities and host remarkable landscapes, ecosystems, and natural and cultural resources.
The new NLCS strategy supports BLM’s multipleuse mission by ensuring that NLCS management efforts will focus on conservation while still allowing for other compatible uses consistent with the designating legislation or presidential proclamation. In addition to conservation, the strategy emphasizes continued collaboration, public involvement, and youth engagement.
Created in June 2000 to conserve, protect, and restore BLM’s nationally significant resources for future generations, NLCS now has nearly 900 units encompassing 27 million areas of conservation lands, trails and waterways, each designated by congressional act or presidential proclamation.
BLM recognizes that the special lands comprising NLCS must be managed in the context of the surrounding landscape. To this end, the NLCS strategy is integrated and interdisciplinary. It incorporates ideas offered by the public and BLM employees, as well as state and local governments, partner groups, and other stakeholders.
BLM plays an important role in protecting the special places where Americans hike and explore, hunt and fish, or simply get away from it all.
“We recognize that the best ideas for conservation come from folks on the ground, and the NLCS strategy provides Americans with enhanced opportunities to share in the stewardship of the lands they treasure,” Abbey said.
Outdoor recreational opportunities are vital to the quality of life enjoyed by Americans, as well as international visitors. In 2010, BLM lands had 58 million visits and BLM management of public resources contributed more than $100 billion to the national economy and supported more than 500,000 American jobs. — WLJ