Land Management

Land Management

Posted by Oak Rocks on 26th Feb 2024

Before you can go out rockhounding you may need permission of whoever is in charge of the land you want to be on. So, who is in charge of land management?

Private land is just that and you should always have permission from the owner before going on any private land!

The other types of land are federal or state. The following are the government agencies in charge of these land:

Many of these institutions may offer educational resources, both for the individual or for classrooms. The information given is taken directly from their websites. Since we are in Arizona, I have listed some the Arizona information for reference-but you might want to research whatever state you are in or visiting.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

BLM manages all federal lands.

“Congress tasked the BLM with a mandate of managing public lands for a variety of uses such as energy development, livestock grazing, recreation, and timber harvesting while ensuring natural, cultural, and historic resources are maintained for present and future use.

To do this, we manage public lands to maximize opportunities for commercial, recreational, and conservation activities. This promotes healthy and productive public lands that create jobs in local communities while supporting traditional land uses such as responsible energy development, timber harvesting, grazing, and recreation, including hunting and fishing.”

Arizona State Land Department

Every state should have a similar government agency that oversees the state’s land.

"Arizona has more than 9 million surface acres of State Trust lands, interspersed throughout the state with federal and private lands. It represents approximately 13% of Arizona's total surface land ownership. Congress authorized conveyance of federal land grants to territories in the west at statehood to provide foundational support for basic public services, such as education and penitentiaries. Congress mandated that those lands be held in perpetual trust, and that standards for management and disposition of those lands would be codified within the states' constitution."


Generally, you cannot rockhound on National or State Parks, Forest, or historical sites, etc. But you can research these sites or contact these agencies for clarification or educational materials.

Forest Service Department

The Forest Service is responsible for national forest and grasslands.

"We are a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Agriculture that manages 193 million acres of land, roughly the size of Texas. We manage public lands in the form of national forests and grasslands, provide technical and financial assistance to state, private, and tribal forestry agencies and make up the largest forestry research organization in the world."

Department of the Interior

"The United States Department of the Interior is an executive department of the U.S. federal government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal lands and natural resources."

National Park Service (NPS)

"The system includes 424 areas covering more than 85 million acres in every state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These areas include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and the White House."

Arizona State Park and Trails

Again, there should be some agency that oversees State Parks in each state.

From Wikipedia: "Arizona State Parks is the governing agency of all Arizona state parks. The agency was created in 1957, following the rapid growth of the post-World War II recreation and tourism industries in the American Southwest. The agency's board was created in 1957, and currently has seven members plus an executive director."


Thanks for reading and happy hunting!