Interesting article in the August 2001 issue of National Geographic on the history of open lands in our country. Also the formation of the BLM and the management of the open lands in the past, present and future. BLM and it's predasesors originally were mandated to organize and facilitate commerce (i.e. mining, ranching, cattle grazing etc.) and other use's of the lands. An ominous line at the end of the article states "There's a new team running the BLM and the Department of Interior, and their views about land use in the West do not reflect the thinking of those who preceded them." Hmmmm.