BLM California remembers longest serving state director


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Photo of Ed Hastey.SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Ed Hastey, former state director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in California whose 40-year career left a lasting mark on the management of public lands in the state, has died.

Hastey, the longest serving state director of the BLM California, was dedicated to the agency’s multiple-use mission and made conservation a proud part of the agency’s legacy.  He is credited with, among other things, multiple land acquisitions and co-founding the California Biodiversity Council with former California Resources Secretary Doug Wheeler. The council, designed to bring together resource agencies, tackles issues that cross agency boundaries. 

Hastey’s long-storied career with the BLM started in 1957 as a forester in Medford, Oregon, before moving to Sacramento. In 1965, he moved to Washington, District of Columbia, to work as a budget analyst and later the BLM’s budget officer. While back east, Hastey also served as the assistant director for the Bureau, where he played a significant role in working to secure additional funding to help the agency meet its new responsibilities after the enactment of various laws in 1969. In 1975, he was appointed state director of the BLM California.  After serving four years in Sacramento, he returned east to serve as the associate director of the Bureau, where he provided critical leadership implementing the agency’s newly established organic act, the Federal Land Policy Management Act. In 1981, he returned to California for good, serving as the state director until he retired in 1999.

In his almost 22 years as state director in California, Hastey was on the forefront of many issues.  His commitment to working with communities, local, state and other federal agencies, as well as a wide variety of interest groups, set the collaborative culture of how to conduct business in California, which remains today.  He was a tireless public servant and dedicated to the BLM family. 

Throughout his career, Hastey played a major role in recognizing the importance of having a diverse workforce. He supported hiring women and minorities who had not come up through the many traditional career paths. As a result, he was instrumental in helping to change the face of the Bureau to better reflect the nation’s demographics.

After retiring from BLM, Hastey joined the Resources Law Group and spent his last years acquiring private land from willing sellers for parks and wilderness to better manage preservation of these special areas for the benefit of the public.

For Hastey, land management was a proud family tradition. His grandfather was one of the first federal forest service rangers in California, and his son continued that tradition as a BLM ranger in the California desert.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.