The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the steward of nearly a quarter of Idaho land area, including spectacular canyons, rivers, high deserts, and even some forests. These lands support remarkably diverse wildlife and recreation opportunities as well as important economic sectors such as ranching and mining.
Managing the many uses and values linked to the public lands is not easy - especially not these days. Massive fires have been sweeping across our rangelands nearly every summer. Greater sage grouse, which inhabit millions of acres of BLM land in Idaho, are being considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Energy companies are looking to construct renewable energy projects and transmission lines on BLM lands. And, a series of recent court decisions may affect a number of the agency's land use plans and grazing permits. All of these events are unfolding in a time of flat to declining agency budgets.
Steve Ellis will lead the BLM's effort to rise to these challenges in Idaho. Director Ellis came to his position with experience that grew from his start as a forester with BLM in Burley to leadership positions for both the BLM and Forest Service in Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C. Director Ellis has performed as an Area Manager, Associate District Manager, District Manager, Forest Supervisor, and Deputy State Director for Resources and Planning. The Forum is an opportunity to hear his views on Idaho BLM's successes and challenges, lessons learned, and a path forward that is bounded by a tight budget.
Idaho Environmental Forum