Facebook Icon Instagram Logo

Team RAF

It's why you learned to fly.

Click to support our work with your tax-deductible donation.

Otherwise, click here to sign up for our free email newsletter.

What does the BLM say about backcountry airstrips?

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Joint BLM / Utah Back Country Pilots' Association sign at Mexican Mountain in Utah.

BLM Casual Use Comments

I don't know why I didn't think about it before. I had a long talk with Maxine Deeter at the BLM in Monticello, Ut. today. She is the person that got me the original "Casual Use" document. She said that (at her field office, anyway), they view airplane use of 'old trespasses like mining and ranching airstrips, perfectly OK. They have no plan to close airstrips per se, and airplanes are OK to casually use public land. If they chose to do so on an old airstrip, so be it.

So then I decided to 'Google' the term "casual use". (Be sure to use the quotation marks). I found all sorts of stuff, one of which is para-phrased below. Happy Hunting.


No land-use authorization would be required for casual use of the public lands. Casual use is any short-term, non-commercial activity that does not cause appreciable damage or disturbance to public land resources and is not prohibited by closure of the land to such activities. The traditional use of snowmachines, motorboats, airplanes, or off-highway vehicles weighing less than 2,000 pounds, as well as non-motorized surface transportation methods, would generally be allowed when they meet the criteria for casual use.