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FEDERAL LAND POLICY AND MANAGEMENT ACT OF 1976
AN ACT To establish public land policy; to establish guidelines for its administra
tion; to provide for the management, protection, development, and enhancement of the public lands; and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE I-SHORT TITLE; POLICIES; DEFINITIONS
TITLE II—LAND USE PLANNING; LAND ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION
TITLE IV-RANGE MANAGEMENT
TITLE VI-DESIGNATED MANAGEMENT AREAS
TITLE I–SHORT TITLE, DECLARATION OF POLICY, AND
Sec. 101. This Act may be cited as the “Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976".
(43 U.S.C. 1701 note)
DECLARATION OF POLICY
SEC. 102. (a) The Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States that,
(1) the public lands be retained in Federal ownership, unless as a result of the land use planning procedure provided for in this Act, it is determined that disposal of a particular parcel will serve the national interest;
(2) the national interest will be best realized if the public lands and their resources are periodically and systematically inventoried and their present and future use is projected through a land use planning process coordinated with other Federal and State planning efforts;
(3) public lands not previously designated for any specific use and all existing classifications of public lands that were effected by executive action or statute before the date of enactment of this Act be reviewed in accordance with the provisions of this Act;
(4) the Congress exercise its constitutional authority to withdraw or otherwise designate or dedicate Federal lands for specified purposes and that Congress delineate the extent to which the Executive may withdraw lands without legislative action; (5) in administering public land statutes and and exercising discretionary authority granted by them, the Secretary be required to establish comprehensive rules and regulations after considering the views of the general public; and to structure adjudication procedures to assure adequate third party participation, objective administrative review of initial decisions, and expeditious decision making;
(6) judicial review of public land adjudication decisions be provided by law;
(7) goals and objectives be established by law as guidelines for public land use planning, and that management be on the basis of multiple use and sustained yield unless otherwise specified by law;
(8) the public lands be managed in a manner that will protect the quality of scientific, scenic, historical, ecological, environmental, air and atmospheric, water resource, and archeological values; that, where appropriate, will preserve and protect certain public lands in their natural condition; that will provide food and habitat for fish and wildlife and domestic animals; and that will provide for outdoor recreation and human occupancy and use;
(9) the United States receive fair market value of the use of the public lands and their resources unless otherwise provided for by statute;
(10) uniform procedures for any disposal of public land, acquisition of non-Federal land or public purposes, and the exchange of such lands be established by statute, requiring each disposal, acquisition, and exchange to be consistent with the prescribed mission of the department or agency involved, and reserving to the Congress review of disposals in excess of a specified acreage;
(11) regulations and plans for the protection of public land areas of critical environmental concern be promptly developed;
(12) the public lands be managed in a manner which recognizes the Nation's need for domestic sources of minerals, food, timber, and fiber from the public lands including implementation of the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 1876, 30 U.S.C. 21a) as it pertains to the public lands; and
(13) the Federal Government should, on a basis equitable to both the Federal and local taxpayer, provide for payments to compensate States and local governments for burdens created as a result of the immunity of Federal lands from State and
local taxation. (b) The policies of this Act shall become effective only as specific statutory authority for their implementation is enacted by this Act or by subsequent legislation and shall then be construed as supplemental to and not in derogation of the purposes for which public lands are administered under other provisions of law.
(43 U.S.C. 1701)
DEFINITIONS Sec. 103. Without altering in any way the meaning of the following terms as used in any other statute, whether or not such statute is referred to in, or amended by, this Act, as used in this Act
(a) The term “areas of critical environmental concern” means areas within the public lands where special management attention is required (when such areas are developed or used or where no development is required) to protect and prevent irreparable damage to important historic, cultural, or scenic values, fish and wildlife resources or other natural systems or processes, or to protect life and safety from natural hazards.
(b) The term “holder” means any State or local governmental entity, individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other business entity receiving or using a right-of-way under title V of this Act.
(c) The term “multiple use” means the management of the public lands and their various resource values so that they are utilized to the combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people; making the most judicious use of the land for some or all of these resources or related services over areas large enough to provide sufficient latitude for periodic adjustments in use to conform to changing needs and conditions; the use of some land for less than all of the resources; a combination of balanced and diverse resource uses that takes into account the longterm needs of future generations for renewable and nonrenewable resources, including, but not limited to, recreation, range, timber, minerals, watershed, wildlife and fish, and natural scenic, scientific and historical values; and harmonious and coordinated management of the various resources without permanent impairment of the productivity of the land and the quality of the environment with consideration being given to the relative values of the resources and not necessarily to the combination of uses that will give the greatest economic return or the greatest unit output.
(d) The term "public involvement” means the opportunity for participation by affected citizens in rulemaking, decisionmaking, and planning with respect to the public lands, including public meetings or hearings held at locations near the affected lands, or advisory mechanisms, or such other procedures as may be necessary to provide public comment in a particular instance.
(e) The term “public lands” means any land and interest in land owned by the United States within the several States and administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management, without regard to how the United States acquired ownership, except
(1) lands located on the Outer Continental Shelf; and
(2) lands held for the benefit of Indians, Aleuts, and Eskimos. (f) The term "right-of-way" includes an easement, lease, permit, or license to occupy, use, or traverse public lands granted for the purpose listed in title V of this Act.
(g) The term “Secretary”, unless specifically designated otherwise, means the Secretary of the Interior.
(h) The term “sustained yield” means the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high-level annual or regular periodic