BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT     Contact: Jeff Krauss (202-452-5128)
For immediate release: Monday, Jan. 5, 2009     

BLM Director Names New National Landscape Conservation System Director

Bureau of Land Management Director James Caswell today appointed Carl Rountree to lead the National Landscape Conservation System.  Rountree, a natural resources civil servant for more than 30 years, currently serves as the budget officer in the agency’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.

“The breadth and depth of Carl’s experience makes him an ideal fit for this critical position,” Caswell said.  “His thorough understanding of BLM programs will help him develop strong bonds with communities, advance science and partnerships, and craft creative ways to conserve, protect, and restore these special resources.”

Since its inception in 2000, the National Landscape Conservation System has been a showcase for managing special areas in a multiple-use context.  The NLCS consists of 866 areas comprising nearly 27 million acres in 11 Western states, plus Alaska and Florida.  Congress and the President have the authority to designate these areas, which include National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and National Scenic and Historic Trails.

Before serving as budget officer in Washington, D.C., Rountree was the BLM’s associate state director in Arizona.  He also served in a number of management positions in the BLM’s California State Office including deputy state director for natural resources, assistant director for ecosystem science, chief of biological resources, and chief of planning and environmental coordination.   Rountree began his Federal career as a land use planner for the Forest Service's Washington Office. He was a senior land use planner for the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments in South Carolina prior to that.

While in California, Rountree played an active role in the creation of the California Biodiversity Council and served as the chairman of its Executive Council for several years.  The Council was formed in 1991 to improve coordination and cooperation among resource management and environmental protection organizations at the Federal, state, and local levels.

Rountree holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Clemson University.  He served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War.  He lives in Washington, D.C., and has three grown children.

The BLM manages more land – 256 million acres – than any other Federal agency.  This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska.  The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.  The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.  The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

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