Obama to nominate former Nevada BLM chief to lead entire agency

Robert V. Abbey, who was director of the US Bureau of Land Management’s Nevada office for 8 years, will be nominated to lead the agency, US President Barack H. Obama said.

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, June 12 -- Robert V. Abbey, who was director of the US Bureau of Land Management’s Nevada office for 8 years, will be nominated to lead the agency, US President Barack H. Obama said.

Abbey had more than 32 years of state and federal service, culminating with his term as BLM Nevada director, before retiring from the federal government in 2005. Prior to running Nevada's BLM state office, he was assistant and acting director in BLM's Colorado office and a BLM district manager in his home state of Mississippi.

The White House noted Abbey was responsible for strategic planning and direction of operations for 85% of the producing federal onshore oil and gas leases in the eastern US. Abbey has extensive experience in land use planning and environmental laws, legislation development, strategic planning, and resource development, it said.

He is a partner in Abbey, Stubbs & Ford LLC, a private consulting firm with offices in Las Vegas and Reno.

US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar applauded the selection. “Through his decades of public service, Bob Abbey has shown again and again that he is the consummate professional natural resource manager. 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,” he said.

The Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States also approved Obama’s choice. “Since 27% of the nation’s natural gas is produced from lands in the Intermountain West, it is important to have a strong and experienced BLM director. Bob Abbey is thoughtful, even-tempered, and responsive to stakeholder concerns,” IPAMS Executive Direct Marc W. Smith said.

Obama also announced plans to nominate Sam V. Hamilton, regional director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Atlanta since 1997, to lead that DOI agency. An FWS employee since 1979, Hamilton has overseen 1,500 employees working in 10 states and the Caribbean in his current position, the White House said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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