BLM-Owned Nevada Land Could Contain All of New England

Thursday, 24 Apr 2014 01:41 PM

By Courtney Coren

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All of the New England states would fit in all of the land owned by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), with some left over, according to data from the Congressional Research Service.

Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine together make up 40,400,640 acres. Nevada makes up a total of 70,264,320 acres with 56,961,778 acres of its land owned by the federal government, CNS News reports.

With the federal government owning 81.1 percent of Nevada's land, only 18.9 percent, or 13,302,542 acres, is left for the state or private citizens to claim.

While the BLM may own the lion's share of land in Nevada, that isn't the norm across the country.

"Today, the federal government owns and manages roughly 635-640 million acres of land in the United States — about 28 percent of the total land base of 2.27 billion acres," CRS explained in a report published in 2012. 

Federal land is also managed by the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Department of Defense.

"The BLM was formed in 1946 by combining two existing agencies," the report explains. "One was the Grazing Service, established in 1934 to administer grazing on public rangelands. The other was the General Land Office, which had been created in 1812 to oversee disposal of the federal lands."

"The BLM currently administers more federal lands than any other agency — 247.9 million acres," the report continues. "BLM lands are heavily concentrated (99.8 percent) in the 11 western states."

The recent stand-off between Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government has sparked a debate over the amount of land it should own, with many western states starting to protest.

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