Skip to main content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Lands, Minerals, and Special Uses

About Our Team

The Lands, Minerals, and Special Uses (LMSU) is a group of dedicated seasoned professionals who actively collaborate with the Forest Service to achieve better relationships with the public and to become the highest and best stewards of the national forest lands we manage. The LMSU offers nationwide support to program managers within the Forest Service allowing timely and quality delivery of vital services to the American public. Being well versed in agency special uses, lands and minerals project work, the LMSU service line is an expert resource the Forest Service can depend upon - whether to issue a group use permit for a campground, a communication site lease, a large powerline corridor easement, a minerals material permit, or process a land exchange.

Our Mission

Committed to addressing the ever-evolving needs of the Forest Service, the LMSU functions as a partner or extension of agency units to develop quality and effective products and solutions. Our mission, specific to each program area, is as follows:

Lands: assist Forest Service units with the processing of land ownership adjustments including land exchanges, purchases, and easements resulting in improved ownership rights and patterns.

Minerals: provide skilled specialists to support agency units with minerals program management and expand the capacity of the Forest Service to respond to requests for mineral use, development and administration in an expert and timely manner.

Special Uses: be an integral partner with the Forest Service initiative to modernize special uses, and provide agency program managers with seasoned subject-matter experts to accomplish recreation and lands special use program administration and project workload.

Services Offered

The Lands, Minerals, and Special Uses Service Line is well situated to partner on lands, minerals, and special uses and offer assistance to all levels of the Forest Service through our diverse and comprehensive expertise.  Our in-depth knowledge ranges from authorization, administration, and compliance to all forms of planning including strategic plans, development plans, prospectuses, and complex NEPA analysis.  This vast expertise combined with intimate agency familiarity allow us to be and the best choice to create quality customized solutions our agency clients.


Lands- provide assistance with all process steps of land adjustment and land title related case work, examples of which include:

  • Land purchases
  • Land donations
  • Land exchanges
  • Land conveyances
  • Rights-of-way acquisitions
  • Conservation easements
  • Land grants
  • Legislated land adjustments
  • Interchanges - Small Tracts Act
  • Encroachments
  • Compensatory mitigation
  • Withdrawals

Minerals - support mineral program management, including, but not limited to the following areas:

  • Interdisciplinary team (IDT) lead in preparing National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) decision memos, environmental analyses and related decision documents for mineral proposals
  • Planning for mineral and mining operations including locatable, leasable and mineral material exploration, development, and production activities situated on National Forest System Lands (NFSL), ensuring compliance with applicable laws, regulations and terms and conditions of an approved plan of operations
  • Preparation of minerals material permits and authorizations for extended occupancy, road use and other associated activities
  • Preparation of conditions of approval: selecting clauses, maps, bond calculations and bills for collection
  • Development of reclamation plans and performance bonds
  • Legal document research, bonding instruments, land plat and title review to determine ownership, rights, and claims as needed to apply to the processing and development of the mineral authorizations
  • Conduct field inspections of mining operations to ensure that compliance with applicable laws, regulations, policies, forest plans, and approved plans of operations
  • Knowledge of the mining industry and the permitting process

Special Uses- offer expertise in all aspects of special uses management, including, but not limited to:

  • Programmatic permit administration, billing, SUDS support, cost recovery development
  • Application processing, new permits and existing permit re-issuances
  • Special use program strategic assessments and plans, capacity analyses, prospectus development, communication site designation and plans, communication site leases, cabin rental program permits, marina permits, and complex outfitter guide permits
  • Ski resort permits, complex energy and infrastructure permits, permits requiring complex environmental analysis such as shooting ranges, observatories, and transmission lines
  • Master permit planning, wind farms, FERC projects, multi-agency permits, presidential permits, and congressionally designated permits

Strategic Planning- available to assess agency program conditions, identify skill gaps, prioritize and develop implementation strategies for forest policies and processes relative to special uses, lands and minerals.