Frontiers Header- Alaska from space. Fall Issue 111

Bud Cribley—Realizes a Lifelong Dream 
New BLM-Alaska State Director

Bud CribleyWhen Bud Cribley talks about moving to Alaska, you hear the excitement in his voice and his anticipation for what lies ahead. During the week of Thanksgiving, Bud will begin his job as BLM-Alaska’s State Director. He is very upbeat, laughs easily and reflects on what lies ahead. He says that after 35 years with the BLM, he sees Alaska as an opportunity to learn new things and gain new experiences. “Hopefully, the experiences I have to date create a good foundation to use in Alaska and help with what BLM-Alaska is trying to accomplish.”

Bud’s looking forward to working with Alaska’s issues and people. He believes his diverse background will complement management decisions in Alaska.

Bud Cribley has a forestry degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas. He joined the BLM in 1975, and worked in Arizona, Montana, Colorado, and Nevada. In 1997, he moved to BLM’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C., as a senior specialist with the Wild Horse and Burro program, later heading up the Rangeland Resources Division. He briefly left Washington to serve as Acting State Director for Idaho in 2006, and then returned to Washington as BLM’s Deputy Assistant Director for Renewable Resources and Planning.

Bud candidly admits that most of BLM-Alaska’s issues are new for him. He is spending his last weeks in the Nation’s capital studying the issues awaiting him in Alaska.

“Obviously, we need to focus on developing a single management plan for the NPR-A [National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska],” he says. “Energy development is a big issue and how that affects the natural resources, will be an important priority.”

In all-employee meetings at BLM-Alaska during brief visits to Fairbanks and Anchorage last month, Bud listened to employee concerns about declining budgets and echoed BLM Director Bob Abbey’s assurance that we “will not be doing more with less, but will do the best we can with what we have.”

Bud doesn’t walk into a room with all the answers. During his career, he says many managers asked for a briefing, but already had their minds made up about what they would do. Bud says he won’t make decisions that way. He believes that when managing organizations, you rely on a good staff and their expertise, and learn to be more of a generalist than an expert.

Bud says he isn’t coming to Alaska with an agenda from the standpoint of changing things. He prefers to get a sense of an organization, where it is, what is working, and identify the challenges. After he has the information, then he will engage people on the issues.

When asked about using new technologies, he chuckles. “I may be overeducated in technology. I represent the BLM for eGov.” His involvement with information technology includes geospatial and inventory monitoring strategies for better efficiency. He emphasizes that BLM needs to use new technologies within its capabilities and available tools, to be effective.

Bud’s wife, Karen, is a school teacher. She will finish out the school year and join him next summer. Bud is an avid hunter and fisherman. They have three grown daughters and one granddaughter.

Bud says, “I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to come to Alaska and work. Not only within the BLM, but with everyone in Alaska. It is just an incredible opportunity, it’s exhilarating.”

— Karen J. Laubenstein Danielle Allen and Sheila Sine contributed to this article

Planning for all 
of the NPR-A

For the first time, the BLM is beginning a new comprehensive land use plan for all of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). The BLM currently has plans for the Northwest and Northeast portions of the NPR-A. However, more than nine million acres in the southern part of the NPR-A have no land use plan. These unplanned lands include caribou calving grounds, potential Wild and Scenic Rivers, and natural gas. The new plan will update Northeast and Northwest NPR-A plans’ analyses and protective measures.

BLM-Alaska received approximately 147,000 comments during the July 28-Oct. 1 scoping period, and public scoping meetings held in six North Slope villages, Fairbanks and Anchorage.

The BLM will issue a draft plan in early 2012, the final plan and the decision in late 2012. The North Slope Borough, State of Alaska, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement are joining the BLM as cooperating agencies for this planning effort.

For more information on the NPR-A plan, go to: