Print Page

News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 354

In this black-and-white photo, Eleanor Schwartz receives a plaque from Boyd Rasmussen (BLM Director 1966–1971).

Eleanor Schwartz receives a Federal Women's Award from Boyd Rasmussen (BLM Director 1966–1971).
BLM Photo

Commemoration of any anniversary of the passage of FLPMA would be incomplete without also celebrating the life and contributions of a woman who helped legislators craft the bill that  would fundamentally change the way our public lands are managed. Eleanor Schwartz, who worked with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) until her death in December 2000 at age 88, was head of the BLM’s Office of Legislative and Regulatory Management for many years, including the period during which FLPMA was initially conceived, drafted, and eventually passed.

Schwartz, an attorney who joined the Department of the Interior in 1962, was instrumental in assist­ing legislators on the technical and legal aspects of the Act. Her work ethic and ability to assimilate into what was then a male-dominated agency paid off when she became the first woman GS-15 in BLM history.

Throughout her tenure at Interior, she remained active in the field of Equal Employment Opportunity, serving as the Federal Women’s Coordinator for the BLM. She was honored twice with Interior’s highest commendation, the Distinguished Service Award, which recognized, among other accomplishments, her work on the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.
In her passing, the BLM not only lost a devoted worker but also an institutional memory that can not be replaced.

- From "The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 As Amended" (PDF file, 1.9 megabytes, 76 pages)

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 354

"I had the great fortune of working for Eleanor from 1988 - 1992.  Both as a mentor and educator, she possessed a wealth of knowledge regarding the Bureau of Land Management's mission.  She was one of the lead authors and contributors to the passage of FLPMA.  As I reflect back on my working experience with Eleanor, I learned a great deal from her about the foundations of the BLM and its new direction under FLPMA.  All BLMers can take great pride in the great legacy that Eleanor pioneered for the agency."

BLM-California State Director Mike Pool

Last updated: 10-20-2008