Support for The Foundation for America’s Public Lands

Foundation for America's Public Lands
Support for The Foundation for America’s Public Lands
The Foundation for America’s Public Lands

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversees 245 million acres of public lands in the U.S. – the largest amount of public land of any other federal agency. The BLM cares for 1 in every 10 acres of land in the U.S. These lands welcome more than 80 million visitors every year, host 25 National Monuments, and support 374,000 jobs. Despite that, they have limited resources to carry out their important mission and face unique challenges. Unlike its counterpart organizations – the National Park Service, US Forest Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service – BLM has not had an official Congressionally chartered foundation to help it achieve its mission.

In January 2022, the Department of the Interior announced the launch of the Foundation for America’s Public Lands, the official charitable partner for BLM. This non-profit organization, originally authorized by Congress in 2017, was created to encourage, accept, and leverage public and private funding and support to help BLM oversee public lands and waters for the benefit of the American people. Since the Foundation started its initial operations in 2022, the organization has begun to build out its operations, leadership, infrastructure, brand, strategic plan, and initial programmatic priorities. It just announced the selection of its inaugural CEO, I Ling Thompson, who will start her role in October 2023.

The Foundation has identified three initial strategic priorities: awareness, stewardship, and access. To build awareness, the Foundation will conduct outreach to a broad and diverse audience of Americans through multiple formats and locations. To increase equitable access to public lands and waters, the Foundation will be hosting a series of roundtable discussions with BLM leadership and partners to share ideas and identify opportunities for innovation and improvement in BLM’s recreation programs. Information gathered during these sessions will help shape future actions, with the goal of enhancing the quality and diversity of outdoor recreation opportunities on public lands. The Foundation will also support the Bureau’s efforts to effectively deploy resources allocated through the Inflation Reduction Act.