For Americans who live or venture west of the Mississippi River or north to Alaska, no public lands are more important, more abundant or more accessible than those managed by the Bureau of Land Management. We are talking about 247.3 million acres of public land (70 million of them in Alaska). In the Lower 48, this means elk hunting in the Missouri Breaks of Montana, Wyoming’s best pronghorn and mule deer country, quail hunting in the borderlands of New Mexico, and black bear or even bison hunting in the high desert mountains of Utah. The BLM manages the National Conservation Lands system, which includes millions of acres of America’s finest hiking, camping, wandering, canyoneering, rafting and access to rivers. The agency administers 18,000 grazing permits and is responsible for 700 million subsurface acres of publicly owned minerals. If it seems like an impossible task…well, sometimes it is. Today on the podcast we talk with BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning about the present and future of these lands – and how we can create a future in which politics is no longer the major obstacle to keeping these irreplaceable lands in public hands.