blm – what’s that?

blm – what’s that?

About twenty years ago when we bought our land near Cripple Creek, Colorado I remember the Realtor was highlighting the fact that directly behind our ten acres was several hundred acres of BLM lands and that it would likely never be sold or developed.

The idea that I’d be assured of wilderness forever really appealed to me then/now. To this day 20 years later this sales pitch holds true and I’m happy about that.

BLM lands directly above our ranch
Behind our property

BLM is the acronym for Bureau of Land Management – a U.S. Governmental agency that is our caretaker of millions of acres of public lands. This is OUR land to hike, camp, explore, photograph, drive through etc. with the obvious limitations they set to ensure habitat, wildlife, and the safety of the public is maintained. There’s also fishing, hunting, and rockhounding that is possible in many areas. Our country is still acquiring land and protecting it for all current and future generations.

Views along the Shelf Road
Amazing and scary views along this route – no guardrails

As a general rule these are vast tracks of remote and hard to access lands which is also good to conservation efforts and providing safe space for all manner of wildlife – good move.

While the BLM was formally created in 1946 the efforts had actually begun way back in 1812 to encourage homesteading and Western migration. Today 99% of these lands are available for our recreation with NO fees. BLM manage 264 million acres of forests, mountains, rangelands, Arctic tundra, and deserts. Interestingly, one in every ten acres of land in the United States is managed by this agency.

Public records from 2016 reflect that the BLM’s management of public lands supported 241,000 jobs and provided $67.7 billion in American economic output. I don’t have net numbers and I’m sure the agency costs us a ton of money but hopefully it doesn’t completely offset this incredible income stream and job production for our fellow Americans.

Regrettably the public lands owned and managed by BLM are limited to only 12 states mostly all in the West. Of the 264 million acres managed only 30,000 are in the Eastern United States.

While traveling down the less traveled roadways we’ll often come across a simple sign that denotes BLM/Public Lands and “off” we go! We’ll drive down 3-5 miles into these public lands and just see what’s to be seen….stop walk down a trail, see old deserted homesteads, ranches, etc. We feel you should do this too.

North of Canon City, CO

Old ranchers abode

OK, that’s it – – we Educate, Entertain, and try to put a smile on your puss!

Get outside, go explore and seek adventure.

Chris Pipes

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