Saturday, September 26, 2015 was National Public Lands Day. I appreciate the outdoors and LOVE National Parks so you would think that I would’ve known about National Public Lands Day before now. Nope. I found out about it Friday night. It was on Saturday.
My lack of awareness didn’t stop us from exploring on Saturday. In honor of the National Public Lands Day Mountain Dad and I took the tots on a hike in the nearby Wasatch – Cache – Uinta National Forest. My tots were stoked because not only was the trail fun and easy with a waterfall at the end, we went with friends so they could climb, slide, and explore with buddies.
I’m familiar with National Parks and National Forests but I wasn’t aware of the other agencies that manage public land in the US. I figured if I didn’t know about them, you might not either so here’s a quick list of the agencies involved in National Public Lands Day.
- National Park Service – Set to celebrate it’s 100th birthday in 2016, the National Park Service is the arm of the government that manages National Parks and Monuments. It manages more than 400 sites and has more than 275 million visitors each year. National Parks are America’s Best Idea.
- Bureau of Land Management – Founded in 1946, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers more than 245 million acres of public lands in the United States, mostly in the 12 western states. BLM Land is used in a variety of ways including oil and gas development, cattle grazing, recreation and wilderness areas.
- US Army Corp of Engineers – The Army Corps of Engineers is the steward of the lands and waters at Corps water resources projects. To see all their locations click here.
- US Fish and Wildlife Service – The US Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible to conserve and protect the nation’s fish and wildlife. They maintain National Wildlife Refuges in all 50 states as well as more than 400 million acres of National Marine Monuments. They’re responsible for protecting migratory birds, endangered species, certain marine mammals and fish, mostly by the providing necessary habitats.
- USDA Forest Service – The US Forest Service manages 154 national forests and 20 grasslands in 44 states and Puerto Rico. Their efforts are focused on restoration, water resources and recreation. For locations of National Forests click here.
Did you go explore on National Public Lands Day? Where did you go?