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Public Land Orders

Public Land Orders (PLO) implement the authority granted to the Secretary of the Interior by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 to make, modify, extend, or revoke land withdrawals. A withdrawal removes an area of Federal land from settlement, sale, location, or entry under some or all of the general land laws, for the purpose of limiting activities under those laws to maintain other public values in the area or reserving the area for a particular public purpose or program. Withdrawals are also used to transfer jurisdiction over an area of Federal land from one department, bureau, or agency to another. The majority of public lands in the U.S. are held in trust for the American people by the Federal government and managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the United States National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, or the Fish and Wildlife Service under the Department of the Interior, or the United States Forest Service under the Department of Agriculture. Other federal agencies that manage public lands include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the United States Department of Defense, which includes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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