All New England Could Fit on BLM Land in Nevada; BLM Owns 0 Acres in New England

Terence P. Jeffrey | April 23, 2014 | 5:47pm EDT
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President Barack Obama in a field of solar panels in Nevada in 2012. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobsen)

( - The acreage the federal Bureau of Land Management currently owns in the state of Nevada is more than all the land in all of the states of New England combined, according to data published by the Congressional Research Service.

By contrast, the BLM does not own a single acre of land in any New England state.

New England, according to the Census Bureau, consists of six states: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Together, these states encompass 40,400,640 acres.

Together these states contain 0 acres of BLM land.

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Nevada contains a total of 70,264,320 acres. Of these, the federal government owns 56,961,778 acres, or 81.1 percent of the state. That leaves only 13,302,542, or 18.9 percent of the state for owners other than the federal government.

The federal government, in other words, owns more than four times as much land in Nevada as all other land owners combined.

Of the 56,961,778 acres of Nevada owned by the federal government, the BLM controls 47,805,923 acres. That is about 84 percent of the federally land in the state and 68 percent of all the land in the state.

The 47,805,923 acres that BLM owns in Nevada is 7,405,283 acres more—or 18.3 percent more--than all of New England.

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“Today, the federal government owns and manages roughly 635-640 million acres of land in the United States—about 28% of the total land base of 2.27 billion acres,” says CRS. “Federal land ownership is concentrated in the West.”

“The BLM was formed in 1946 by combining two existing agencies,” says CRS. “One was the Grazing Service (first known as the DOI Grazing Division), established in 1934 to administer grazing on public rangelands. The other was the General Land Office, which had been created in 1812 to oversee disposal of the federal lands. The BLM currently administers more federal lands than any other agency—247.9 million acres. BLM lands are heavily concentrated (99.8%) in the 11 western states.”

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