BLM appoints 37-year agency veteran as Utah state director

Ed Roberson photo courtesy BLM, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Bureau of Land Management said Wednesday that a 37-year agency veteran was appointed to lead the team as Utah state director, a key leadership position that’s been vacant for more than a year.

Edwin L. Roberson comes to Utah after serving as Director of BLM National Operations Center in Denver, where he oversaw the agency’s operational and technical support for finance, information technology and human resources since February 2015, according to the Aug. 24 announcement.

Bureau of Land Management's field offices throughout the state of Utah, image courtesy of BLM | St. George News
Bureau of Land Management’s field offices throughout the state of Utah, image courtesy of BLM | St. George News

Roberson will lead a team that oversees 23 million acres of public lands and 32 million acres of minerals and energy resources in Utah. According to the BLM statement:

“(Roberson) has guided some of the agency’s most important work during his career, and his experience working with local communities makes him the perfect fit for this job,”  BLM Director Neil Kornze wrote.

From battles over fracking for oil to the movement for state and local governments to take over federal lands, Roberson will head the embattled agency starting Oct. 3.

“Ed is a good listener, a proven coalition-builder and a natural leader,” Kornze said. “We are fortunate to have his experience and expertise in Utah.”

The agency veteran has also served in top leadership roles in New Mexico, where he was awarded the President’s award of the Wildlife Management Institute, and held senior level positions in the nation’s capitol.

This position hasn’t been filled since former BLM state director Juan Palma retired in 2015 after 29 years of employment with the federal government and over a decade with the BLM.

The BLM, a division of the Department of Interior, is a federal agency that regulates more than 245 million surface acres of public land and 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate. That is roughly 28 percent of the 2.27 billion acres of land in the United States, according to a report released by the Congressional Research Data in 2012.

BLM Mission Statement:

It is the mission of the Bureau of Land Management to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

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