The Public Lands Interpretive Association (PLIA), established in 1981, is a recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to enlightening and motivating visitors to America’s public territories. In collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service, they manage shops and information centers across the Southwest, notably the New Mexico Public Lands Information Center in Santa Fe. They also provide enlightening experiences for diverse age groups and oversee certain campgrounds in the Kaibab National Forest in Arizona.
Their website and 13 physical shops present an expansive variety of maps, literature, guidebooks, and tools for outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, and fishing. Additionally, they offer toys, keepsakes, and apparel adorned with the Southwest’s iconic landscapes and creatures. Their comprehensive online map platform covers 10 western U.S. states, featuring official forest and land management maps, and specific guides for renowned National Parks.
One of their main offerings is information services. At their New Mexico Center in Santa Fe, a team stands ready to aid in map procurement, state navigation, or clarity on rules governing outdoor sites. Their website also incorporates a direct chat feature for immediate inquiries during working hours.
Although their primary base is in New Mexico, the team endeavors to provide contacts or information for any trip. Their digital recreation map on the PLIA site details numerous recreation locales in the Western U.S. Users can filter by activity type, access campground details, or discern the management of particular outdoor zones.
Every purchase, whether in-shop or online, furthers their nonprofit educational initiatives and fosters deeper connections to public lands. For instance, their Caver Quest Academy grants several southern New Mexico middle-schoolers access to the Fort Stanton — Snowy River Cave, coupled with classroom sessions, an engaging game, and caving gear for a memorable adventure. They also offer visitor center displays, interpretive public land signs, and information booklets. For those eager to explore, the resources from PLIA might unveil lesser-known treasures of the public territories.