Designated Lands – Management Summary, Laws, and Regulations

Designated Land Management

Federally designated areas include the Bureau of Land Management’s National Landscape Conservation System as well as National Forests are managed by the US Forest Service, and National Parks are managed by the National Park Service. Learn more about management on designated lands.

Bureau of Land Management 

The Bureau of Land Management’s National Conservation Lands, also known as the National Landscape Conservation System, contain some of the West’s most spectacular landscapes. They include 874 federally recognized areas and approximately 30 million acres of National MonumentsNational Conservation AreasWilderness AreasWilderness Study AreasWild and Scenic RiversNational Scenic and Historic Trails, and Conservation Lands of the California Desert. Read more about Bureau of Land Management Laws and Regulations and General Publications.

US Forest Service

The overriding objective of the Forest Service’s forest management program is to ensure that the National Forests are managed in an ecologically sustainable manner. The National Forests were originally envisioned as working forests with multiple objectives: to improve and protect the forest, to secure favorable watershed conditions, and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use of citizens of the United States. Forest management objectives have since expanded and evolved to include ecological restoration and protection, research and product development, fire hazard reduction, and the maintenance of healthy forests. Read more about the USFS’s history and today’s “ecological perspective“. Guided by law, regulation, and agency policy, Forest Service forest managers use timber sales, as well as other vegetation management techniques such as prescibed fire, to achieve these objectives.

Laws, regulations, and policies direct Forest Service forest management. Policies are the Forest Services rules defining forest management. The policies are documented in agency manuals and handbooks. Forest Service laws and policies are detailed here. Applicable federal laws are available here.

National Park Service

National parks contain many of our nation’s most treasured landscapes, from the majestic mountain ranges of Alaska to the vast sawgrass prairies of the Everglades. To safeguard these treasures, the National Park Service combines the best available science with innovative education and stewardship programs, such as Biodiversity Discovery, the Climate Change Youth Initiative, and Geoscientists-in-Parks.

The National Park Service carries out its responsibilities in parks and programs under the authority of federal laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, and in accordance with policies and Director’s Orders established by the Director of the National Park Service and the Secretary of the Interior.