This publication has been prepared by the Public Lands Foundation to define and clarify the status of federal public lands in America and to answer questions people pose on a daily basis, such as:
  • How did the United States acquire the public lands owned collectively by the American people?
  • How did the United States transfer most of the original public lands to state, private and other ownerships?
  • How did the Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the Department of the Interior, become responsible for administering its remaining 245 million acres of public domain lands, now known as the National System of Public Lands?
  • How does federal ownership and management of public domain lands benefit Americans?