Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today praised President Obama's announcement that he intends to nominate Bob Abbey, a veteran public land policy leader and chief architect of the Great Basin Restoration Initiative, as Director of the Bureau of Land Management.
"Through his decades of public service, Bob Abbey has shown again and again that he is the consummate professional natural resource manager," Secretary Salazar said. "His dedication to our country’s National System of Public Lands and his commitment to building partnerships make him an ideal choice to lead one of the most complex federal land managing agencies."
Abbey has more than 32 years in public service, working with state and federal land management agencies before retiring from the federal government in July 2005.
He served eight years as the Nevada State Director for the U. S. Bureau of Land Management, providing direction and oversight for 48 million acres of public land managed by the bureau in the state. He oversaw a staff of 700 employees in eight field offices and the state office and managed an annual operating budget of $51 million.
From 1999 through 2005, Abbey was the chairman of the Executive Committee for the implementation of the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act and oversaw the allocation of more than $1.5 billion in funds for resource management and environmental projects within the state.
During his federal career, Abbey was the principal Bureau of Land Management proponent for the Great Basin Restoration Initiative, testifying before congressional committees and working with both the BLM director and the Secretary of the Interior to elevate the status and funding levels for restoration activities in the Great Basin.
Most recently, Abbey was a partner in a private consultant firm called Abbey, Stubbs, & Ford, LLC with offices in Las Vegas and Reno Nevada. He also continued his advocacy within the private sector as a member of the University of Nevada College of Agriculture Dean's Advisory Committee and as a board member on several statewide and national non-profit organizations.
Abbey earned numerous performance awards during his career, including the prestigious Secretary of the Interior's Executive Leadership Award in 2004. That same year he was recognized by the U.S. Senate with a certificate of commendation for his work on behalf of the Great Basin.
Abbey is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. He and his wife Linda have been married for 32 years and currently reside in Reno, Nevada. They have one daughter, Leigh.
The BLM manages more land -- 256 million acres -- than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
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