Public Land and Waters

Your Public Land and Waters

In all modern states, some land is held by central or local governments. This is called public land. The system of tenure of public land, and the terminology used, varies between countries. 

In the United States governmental entities including cities, counties, states, and the federal government all manage land which are referred to as either public lands or the public domain. 

The majority of public lands in the United States are held in trust for the American people by the federal government and managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the United States National Park Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, or the Fish and Wildlife Service under the Department of the Interior, or by the United States Forest Service under the Department of Agriculture. 

Most state- and federally managed public lands are open for recreational use. Recreation opportunities depend on the managing agency, and run the gamut from the less restrictive, undeveloped wide open spaces of BLM lands to the highly developed and controlled national and state parks. Wildlife refuges and state wildlife management areas, managed primarily to improve habitat, are generally open to wildlife watching, hiking, and hunting, except for closures to protect mating and nesting, or to reduce stress on wintering animals. 

 

For more information visit:

Public Lands Information Center: state and federal lands in the Western U.S.

Recreation on Federal Lands: United States/ nationwide

Public Land / Water Access Assoc.: Montana/ United States

Our Public Lands: Western States/ United States

https://publicland.org: Keep public lands in public hands