June 1, 2007
June 1, 2007 - On Wednesday, President George W. Bush announced his intention to nominate James L. Caswell of Idaho to be director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at the Department of the Interior.
Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne praised the President's intention to nominate Caswell, a veteran public land ecosystem manager.
"I've known Caswell personally and admire his 'can do' attitude, pragmatic leadership style and outstanding management skills," Kempthorne said. "His considerable supervisory experience with the U.S. Forest Service, his proven expertise in coordinating endangered species programs on public lands and his ability to build strong, effective partnerships make him well-qualified for this position."
Caswell currently heads the State of Idaho's Office of Species Conservation, which was established in 2000 by the state legislature to bring a policy focus to endangered species issues and to coordinate state and federal efforts on endangered species management in Idaho.
The BLM, which has about 10,800 employees and an annual budget of about $1.8 billion, manages more land-258 million surface acres-than any other federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 western states, including Alaska. The bureau also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.
If confirmed by the Senate, Caswell would assume the BLM director position, which has been vacant since February 2007, when director Kathleen Clarke left the department. Jim Hughes has been serving as acting director since then.