State Director's Top 10

State Director's Strategic Direction for 2013 - 2016

As we look ahead at what the future holds for us, one thing for certain is the Bureau of Land Management continues to be a sound investment for America. While we are the largest land manager in the nation, we accomplish our complex mission with only 10,000 employees bureau-wide who are dedicated and devoted stewards of more than 245 million acres of public land and 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate. Here in the Montana/Dakotas, there are roughly 700 of us who contribute to everything from energy production to wildlife habitat conservation, all the while maintaining a high standard of customer service. Each of our employees deserves a big “thank you” for their part in carrying out the priorities of both the Secretary of the Interior and BLM Director, and in turn, my priorities. Yes, BLM Montana/Dakotas is also a sound investment in America.
In the fall of 2012, the State Leadership Team (SLT) convened to discuss leading BLM Montana/Dakotas into the future.  We considered the Secretary’s Strategic Priorities, the BLM’s “Roadmap for Success in 2016,” and the State Director’s Top 10 Priorities for 2012 as the foundation for developing our Strategic Direction for 2013-2016. While this does not encompass all of the important work we carry out every day, the purpose of this document is to articulate a framework to guide us all in a common direction as we face new challenges that come our way and we make decisions about where to invest our resources and efforts. This will serve as the foundation from which our Divisions, Districts, and Field Offices can outline their priority work with more specificity so that we can see where and how we each contribute to the bigger collective picture of our Montana/Dakotas mission.

As we move forward in choosing our workload priorities, we need to focus on those that give the greatest return on America’s investment. When deciding which projects should come first, continue to keep the State Director’s Top 10 in mind, as well as the Bureau’s vision and our guiding principles for the Montana/Dakotas organization, as upheld by the Montana/Dakotas SLT.
The Bureau’s Vision (from Roadmap for Success in 2016): As a premier land management agency, the BLM will:

  • Lead broadly inclusive and successful efforts to improve the health of our public lands and sustain the benefits they provide at scales ranging from individual communities to entire ecosystems; and
  • Ensure activities on the public lands yield maximum public benefit with minimum impact.

As you read my top 10 priorities, remember that what our employees do in their routine workday provides the very foundation that enables me to even talk about having priorities. We here at the BLM manage America’s public lands, and we are a part of the communities we live in. We must be accountable for our actions. BLMers in the Montana/Dakotas live by that rule every day.

Accomplishing our multiple-use mission will always be a challenge, but our track record proves that we’re capable. We have the skills, knowledge, and commitment, and we know how to make the most of our time and resources through collaborative partnerships. I think it’s safe to say that most of us are here because of our passion for public lands, as much as for a satisfying career. Our employees may be one of many, but as an individual, each is an important part of our successes in the Montana/Dakotas. As their State Director, I appreciate their hard work, and I am proud of what they do!

                                                          Jamie E. Connell, State Director