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BLM Creates National Landscape Conservation System

The Bureau of Land Management has established the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) to help protect some of the nation's most remarkable and rugged landscapes. The system-- which includes the agency's Congressionally designated National Conservation Areas, National Monuments, and other areas (including BLM managed segments of 2 National Scenic and 8 National Historic Trails) designated for important scientific and ecological characteristics-- will ensure that future generations will enjoy some of the United States' last, great open spaces. NLCS lands will enable the public to experience the solitude and splendor of these undeveloped landscapes by providing numerous opportunities for exploration and discovery.

National Conservation Areas (NCAs) are designated by Congress to conserve, protect, enhance, and manage public land areas for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. NCAs feature exceptional natural, recreational, cultural, wildlife, aquatic, archeological, paleontological, historical, educational, and/or scientific resources.

By creating the NLCS, the BLM hopes to raise the profile of these areas in this fast-changing and fast-growing region. This system doesn't create new legal protections, but provides more intensive management. In total this amounts to 817 BLM units encompassing more than 38 million acres-- an area larger than the state of Florida, which amounts to about 15 percent of BLM's land base.

To learn more about the National Landscape Conservation System and to read about each National Conservation Area, please visit the BLM Web site:

January 2001

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