Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior that administers more than 247.3 million acres of public lands in the United States which constitutes one eighth of the landmass of the country. President Harry S. Truman created the BLM in 1946 by combining two existing agencies: the General Land Office and the Grazing Service; the agency manages the federal government's nearly 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate located beneath federal and private lands severed from their surface rights by the Homestead Act of 1862. Most BLM public lands are located in these 12 western states: Alaska, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming; the mission of the BLM is "to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations." BLM holdings were described as "land nobody wanted" because homesteaders had passed them by. All the same, ranchers hold nearly 18,000 permits and leases for livestock grazing on 155 million acres of BLM public lands.
The agency manages 221 wilderness areas, 27 national monuments and some 636 other protected areas as part of the National Conservation Lands, totaling about 36 million acres. In addition the National Conservation Lands include nearly 2,400 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers, nearly 6,000 miles of National Scenic and Historic Trails. There are more than 63,000 gas wells on BLM public lands. Total energy leases generated $5.4 billion in 2013, an amount divided among the Treasury, the states, Native American groups. The BLM's roots go back to the Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787; these laws provided for the survey and settlement of the lands that the original 13 colonies ceded to the federal government after the American Revolution. As additional lands were acquired by the United States from Spain and other countries, the United States Congress directed that they be explored and made available for settlement. During the Revolutionary War, military bounty land was promised to soldiers who fought for the colonies.
After the war, the Treaty of Paris of 1783, signed by the United States, England and Spain, ceded territory to the United States. In the 1780s, other states relinquished their own claims to land in modern-day Ohio. By this time, the United States needed revenue to function. Land was sold. In order to sell the land, surveys needed to be conducted; the Land Ordinance of 1785 instructed a geographer to oversee this work as undertaken by a group of surveyors. The first years of surveying were completed by error. In 1812, Congress established the General Land Office as part of the Department of the Treasury to oversee the disposition of these federal lands. By the early 1800s, promised bounty land claims were fulfilled. Over the years, other bounty land and homestead laws were enacted to dispose of federal land. Several different types of patents existed; these include cash entry, homestead, military warrants, mineral certificates, private land claims, state selections, town sites, town lots. A system of local land offices spread throughout the territories, patenting land, surveyed via the corresponding Office of the Surveyor General of a particular territory.
This pattern spread across the entire United States. The laws that spurred this system with the exception of the General Mining Law of 1872 and the Desert Land Act of 1877 have since been repealed or superseded. In the early 20th century, Congress took additional steps toward recognizing the value of the assets on public lands and directed the Executive Branch to manage activities on the remaining public lands; the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 allowed leasing and production of selected commodities, such as coal, oil and sodium to take place on public lands. The Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 established the United States Grazing Service to manage the public rangelands by establishment of advisory boards that set grazing fees; the Oregon and California Revested Lands Sustained Yield Management Act of 1937 referred as the O&C Act, required sustained yield management of the timberlands in western Oregon. In 1946, the Grazing Service was merged with the General Land Office to form the Bureau of Land Management within the Department of the Interior.
It took several years for this new agency to reorganize. In the end, the Bureau of Land Management became less focused on land disposal and more focused on the long term management and preservation of the land; the agency achieved its current form by combining offices in the western states and creating a corresponding office for lands both east of and alongside the Mississippi River. As a matter of course, the BLM's emphasis fell on activities in the western states as most of the mining, land sales, federally owned areas are located west of the Mississippi. BLM personnel on the ground have been oriented toward local interests, while bureau management in Washington are led by presidential guidance. By means of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, Congress created a more unified bureau mission and recognized the value of the remaining public lands by declaring that these lands would remain in public ownership; the law directed that these lands be managed with a view toward "multiple use" defined as "management of the public lands and their various resource values so that th
Beginning Point of the U.S. Public Land Survey
The Beginning Point of the U. S. Public Land Survey is the point from which the United States in 1786 began the formal survey of the lands known as the Northwest Territory, now making up all or part of Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin; the survey is claimed to be the first major cadastral survey undertaken by any nation. The point now lies underwater on the state line between Pennsylvania; because it is submerged, a monument commemorating the point is located on the state line between East Liverpool and Ohioville, adjacent to the nearest roadway. The area around the marker was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965; the monument commemorating the survey point is located on the north side of the Ohio River, on the south side of the road designated Ohio State Route 39 to the west and Pennsylvania Route 68 to the east. It is near the three-way intersection of Ohio and the northern tip of West Virginia, in both the Pittsburgh metropolitan area and the East Liverpool micropolitan area, it is inscribed "1,112 feet south of this spot was the point of beginning for surveying the Public Lands of the United States."The Public Land Survey System of the United States was established by Congressional legislation in 1785, in order to provide an orderly mechanism for opening the Northwest Territory for settlement.
The ordinance directed the Geographer of the United States, Thomas Hutchins to survey an initial east-west base line. This Hutchins began in 1786, using as his starting point a stake placed on north bank of the Ohio River by a 1785 survey team from the states of Virginia and Pennsylvania to fix their common boundary north-south boundary. Hutchins' work, completed in 1787, established the Seven Ranges, with a baseline about 45 miles line; this survey is believed to be "the first mathematically designed system and nationally conducted cadastral survey in any modern country."The monument was placed in 1881, is maintained by the East Liverpool Historical Society. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965. Beginning Point of the Louisiana Purchase Survey Ohio River Trail List of National Historic Landmarks in Pennsylvania List of National Historic Landmarks in Ohio National Register of Historic Places listings in Beaver County, Pennsylvania National Register of Historic Places listings in Columbiana County, Ohio
National Irrigation Congress
The National Irrigation Congress was held periodically in the Western United States beginning in 1891 and ending in 1916, by which time the organization had changed its name to International Irrigation Congress. It was a "powerful pressure group." 1891 The first congress was organized in Salt Lake City, Utah, by William Ellsworth Smythe, the editor of the publication Irrigation Age, Elwood Mead, a Wyoming irrigation engineer, Senator Francis E. Warren of Wyoming; as a result, irrigation became a substantial national issue. The congress passed a resolution urging that public lands controlled by the federal government be turned over to the states and territories "needful of irrigation." Between 450 and 600 delegates attended.1893 The panic of 1893 undermined financial backing for the congress. Irish of San Francisco and the presence of a number of foreign representatives who had responded to an appeal by the State Department to attend the meeting, they came from France, Mexico and New South Wales.
The body appointed commissioners in every state and territory to survey arid lands and submit the results to the U. S. Congress. C. W. Allingham of Los Angeles introduced his "heliomotor," a sun-powered engine that he said could be used to pump irrigation water; the Los Angeles Times reported: "He said it might be stated that the idea was a cranky one, but it must be remembered that it was the cranks that made things move."1894 The congress in Omaha, was highlighted by adoption of a plan to settle 250 families in a planned community called New Plymouth in Idaho. "Farmers were... restricted to living no more than two miles away from their crops, the sale of alcohol was banned... to keep the farmers sober and well-mannered at all times."John Wesley Powell, director of the United States Geological Survey, "talked of the storm-water storage plan. He thought. In Utah and California, where it had been tried, it had been successful."1895 A congress held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1895 adopted a resolution that stated in part: We declare that it should be the policy of Congress to frame laws which will enable the people to obtain possession of the arid public lands upon terms which bear a fair relation to the cost of reclamation, that this cost should be regulated by public authority....
We earnestly ask for the creation of a National Irrigation Commission... to be composed of men familiar with the condition of the arid region and including a representative of skilled engineers. We would have this commission empowered to use the facilities of the Department of the Interior or Agriculture and of War. 1896 At the fifth congress in Phoenix, Arizona, A. G. Wolfenbarger of Nebraska described the West as "a country destined to become at some future time the Garden of the Gods, the home of intelligence, riches, everything that can measure the power and greatness of a great nation... millions of people are waiting to be led out into these great plains waiting to welcome them to a home that will make them independent."1897 The congress of 1897 in Lincoln, which attracted representatives from thirteen states, was opened with an address by E. R. Moses, chairman of the national executive committee, who said: We irrigationists are satisfied that Congress will have to adopt our plan of preventing the overflow of large streams by the storage of waters near the heads in such a manner as to feed the stream at times of low water, at other times to be used in irrigation and manufacturing industries... and large tracts of arid land can be reclaimed by these waters and opened for settlement.
Defeated Democratic candidate for the U. S. Presidency William Jennings Bryan told the delegates he was opposed "to turning over large bodies of land to corporations controlling water rights, unless safeguards were thrown around the transaction to protect small holders of irrigable land."1898 The 1898 congress in Cheyenne, called for the federal government to allocate "no less than $100,000 for hydrographic surveys for the measurement of streams and the survey of reservoir sites" and urged the formation of a forestry bureau. But a Colorado legislator likened the America West "to a graveyard, littered with defunct irrigation corporations."1899 A battle developed at the 1899 Wichita, meeting of another Western body — the Trans-Mississippi Congress — over the stand by the National Irrigation Congress favoring federal "storage reservoirs" and the "leasing of the public grazing lands by the states without cession and those who advocated the public lands to the States and Territories." After much debate, the Trans-Mississippi group endorsed the policy of the Irrigation Congress.
1900 The 1900 meeting of the Irrigation Congress in Chicago, featured a paper read by Captain Hiram M. Chittenden of the Army Corps of Engineers contending that the best way to get the U. S. Congress to act on irrigation was to "divorce the storage reservoir problem from that of irrigation in general, that the former is properly within the field of the General Government, is in a fair way to secure favorable action by Congress, provided that it is well understood that no attempt will be made to involve the Government in irrigation work." 1903 The eleventh congress was held in Ogden, Utah, in September 1903, with Senator William A. Clark of Montana as chairman; the agenda included "Practical forestry lessons.
Land Ordinance of 1785
The Land Ordinance of 1785 was adopted by the United States Congress of the Confederation on May 20, 1785. It set up a standardized system whereby settlers could purchase title to farmland in the undeveloped west. Congress at the time did not have the power to raise revenue by direct taxation, so land sales provided an important revenue stream; the Ordinance set up a survey system that covered over 3/4 of the area of the continental United States. The earlier Ordinance of 1784 was a resolution written by Thomas Jefferson calling for Congress to take action; the land west of the Appalachian Mountains, north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River was to be divided into ten separate states. However, the 1784 resolution did not define the mechanism by which the land would become states, or how the territories would be governed or settled before they became states; the Ordinance of 1785 put the 1784 resolution in operation by providing a mechanism for selling and settling the land, while the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 addressed political needs.
The 1785 ordinance laid the foundations of land policy until passage of the Homestead Act in 1862. The Land Ordinance established the basis for the Public Land Survey System; the initial surveying was performed by Thomas Hutchins. After he died in 1789, responsibility for surveying was transferred to the Surveyor General. Land was to be systematically surveyed into square townships, 6 mi on a side, each divided into thirty-six sections of 1 sq mi or 640 acres; these sections could be subdivided for re-sale by settlers and land speculators. The ordinance was significant for establishing a mechanism for funding public education. Section 16 in each township was reserved for the maintenance of public schools. Many schools today are still located in section sixteen of their respective townships, although a great many of the school sections were sold to raise money for public education. In States, section 36 of each township was designated as a "school section"; the Point of Beginning for the 1785 survey was where Ohio and Virginia met, on the north shore of the Ohio River near East Liverpool, Ohio.
There is a historical marker just north of the site, at the state line where Ohio State Route 39 becomes Pennsylvania Route 68. The Confederation Congress appointed a committee consisting of the following men: Thomas Jefferson Hugh Williamson David Howell Elbridge Gerry Jacob Read On May 7, 1784, the committee reported "An ordinance for ascertaining the mode of locating and disposing of lands in the western territories, for other purposes therein mentioned." The ordinance required the land be divided into "hundreds of ten geographical miles square, each mile containing 6086 and 4-10ths of a foot" and "sub-divided into lots of one mile square each, or 850 and 4-10ths of an acre", numbered starting in the northwest corner, proceeding from west to east, east to west, consecutively. After debate and amendment, the ordinance was reported to Congress April 26, 1785, it required surveyors "to divide the said territory into townships seven miles square, by lines running due north and south, others crossing these at right angles.
— The plats of the townships shall be marked into sections of one mile square, or 640 acres." This is the first recorded use of the terms "township" and "section."On May 3, 1785, William Grayson of Virginia made a motion seconded by James Monroe to change "seven miles square" to "six miles square." The ordinance was passed on May 20, 1785. The sections were to be numbered starting at 1 in the southeast and running south to north in each tier to 36 in the northwest; the surveys were to be performed under the direction of the Geographer of the United States. The Seven Ranges, the surveyed Symmes Purchase, with some modification, the surveyed Ohio Company of Associates, all of the Ohio Lands were the surveys completed with this section numbering; the Act of May 18, 1796, provided for the appointment of a surveyor-general to replace the office of Geographer of the United States, that "sections shall be numbered beginning with number one in the northeast section, proceeding west and east alternately, through the township, with progressive numbers till the thirty-sixth be completed."
All subsequent surveys were completed with this boustrophedonical section numbering system, except the United States Military District of the Ohio Lands which had five mile square townships as provided by the Act of June 1, 1796, amended by the Act of March 1, 1800. Howe and others give Thomas Hutchins credit for conceiving the rectangular system of lots of one square mile in 1764 while a captain in the Sixtieth, or, Royal American and engineer to the expedition under Col. Henry Bouquet to the forks of the Muskingum, in what is now Coshocton County, Ohio, it formed part of his plan as a protection against Indians. The law of 1785 embraced most of the new system. Treat, on the other hand, notes that tiers of townships were familiar in New England, insisted on by the New England legislators. Public Education reservations of the Land Ordinance of 1785 Background:*The Land Ordinance of 1785, adopted May 20, 1785 by the Continental Congress, set the stage for an organized and community-based westward expansion in the United States in the years after the American Revolution.
Under the 1785 act, section 16 of each township was set aside for school purposes, as such was called the school section. Section 36 was subsequently added as a school section in western sta
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Office of Surface Mining
The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement is a branch of the United States Department of the Interior. It is the federal agency entrusted with the implementation and enforcement of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, which attached a per-ton fee to all extracted coal in order to fund an interest-accruing trust to be used for reclamation of abandoned mine lands, as well as established a set environmental standards that mines must follow while operating, achieve when reclaiming mined land, in order to minimize environmental impact. OSMRE has about 500 employees, who work in either the national office in Washington, DC, or of the many regional and field offices. OSM has three main functions: Regulating active mines Reclaiming lands damaged by surface mining and abandoned mines Providing resources for technical assistance and technology development The OSM operates 3 regional offices: The Appalachian region covers 12 states and is headquartered in Pittsburgh.
On November 1, 1980, this office relocated into 10 Parkway West. The Western division is headquartered in Denver; the Mid-Continent division is headquartered in Alton, Illinois. The Office of Surface Mining is responsible for the enforcement of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977; the actual regulation of mines is done on a state level and tribal level, but OSM is charged with inspection of the state programs to meet the standard of quality. OSM inspects state programs to make sure they are meeting the required standards. For example, when in the fiscal year of 2003 Missouri was unable to meet the federal requirements due to a lack of funding, OSM stepped in to assume partial control of the state program. OSM took control of the following in Missouri: Training and certification of blasters Areas unsuitable for mining Small Operator AssistanceOSM continued to run the above parts of Missouri's mining program until Missouri improved its program, which took place on Feb. 1, 2006.
Missouri now receives federal funding. Abandoned mine lands are lands and waters adversely impacted by inadequately reclaimed surface coal mining operations on lands that were not subject to the reclamation requirements of the Surface Mining Law. Environmental problems associated with abandoned mine lands include surface and ground water pollution, entrances to open mines, water-filled pits, unreclaimed or inadequately reclaimed refuse piles and minesites, sediment-clogged streams, damage from landslides, fumes and surface instability resulting from mine fires and burning coal refuse. Environmental restoration activities under the abandoned mine reclamation program correct or mitigate these problems; the Appalachian Coal Country Team was founded in response to requests from watershed groups throughout coal country. The Coal Country Team arms community organizations and watershed-based projects with the training and volunteer support necessary to help local citizens become effective environmental stewards, community leaders, accelerators of change in places indelibly marked by the environmental legacy of pre-regulatory coal mining.
OSM's Bat conservation project was begun December 15, 1998, when OSM signed a MOU with Bat Conservation International, Inc. in order to establish a framework for cooperative efforts between the two organizations to maintain and increase the conservation of bats and their habitats. Under this agreement, OSM would Consider the conservation of bats and their habitats in the development and implementation of abandoned mine land reclamation standards and recommendations to States and Indian Tribes. OSM will encourage the Tribes to do the same. Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America is a bill that, if passed, would amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to require state programs for regulation of surface coal mining to incorporate the necessary rule concerning excess spoil, coal mine waste, buffers for perennial and intermittent streams published by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement on December 12, 2008; the bill would require OSM to assess the effectiveness of that rule after five years of implementation and to report its findings to the Congress.
The bill would prevent OSM from issuing a new rule regarding stream buffer zones until the agency completes the report required under the bill. Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations CONSOL Energy Mine Map Preservation Project National Mine Map Repository OSM official site Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement in the Federal Register OSM 2008 Annual Report OSM's National Mine Map Repository