The federal government owns 655 million acres (29%) of the nearly 2.3 billion acres of land in the United States. Four agencies administer 628 million acres (96%) of this land: the Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture, The Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service, all in the Department of the Interior. The majority of these lands are in the West. They generate revenues for the U. S. Treasury, some of which are shared with states and localities. These agencies receive funding from annual appropriations laws, and from trust funds and special accounts (including the Land and Water Conservation Fund).
The lands administered by the four agencies are managed for a variety of purposes, primarily related to conservation, preservation, and development of natural resources. Yet, each of these agencies has distinct responsibilities for the lands and resource it administers. This new book provides an overview of how federal lands and resources are managed, the agencies that manage the lands, the authorities under which these lands are managed, and some of the issues associated with federal land management. The book is divided into nine chapters. In the conclusion of the book, is an appendix of acronyms used in the text, and another defining selected terms used in the report.