Utah Bureau of Land Management announces retirement of state director

Edwin L. Roberson. Photo Courtesy: BLM Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 5, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Bureau of Land Management has announced some changes in key leadership including the retirement of the state director.

Edwin L. Roberson, BLM Utah state director, retired on Friday, said a news release from the BLM. Roberson has served as the BLM Utah State Director since October 2016, the news release said.

“He is moving to North Carolina to be with his family after more than 40 years of public service with the BLM,” the notice said. “He leaves a legacy of collaborative problem-solving. Under Ed’s leadership, BLM Utah built lasting relationships and accomplished many important projects for Utah residents and the American public.”

Anita Bilbao, associate state director, will serve as the acting state director while the BLM fills the post permanently. Abbie Jossie, deputy state director for natural resources will fill the role of associate state director in an interim capacity.

In addition, Lance Porter has been selected as the Green River district manager.

“He brings experience balancing multiple uses including recreation to this new role,” the news release said. “He previously served as the Canyon Country district manager in Moab. As Green River district manager, he will oversee much of BLM’s management of the designations in the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act of 2019 and continue to lead the way in energy development.”

Gary Torres, Monticello field manager, has served temporarily as the acting Canyon Country district manager and has been asked to serve as the acting state director for BLM eastern states. While the BLM seeks a long-term interim district manager, Brian Quigley, assistant district manager will fill that role.

Harry Barber has been selected as the district manager of the BLM’s new Paria River District. He previously served as a monument wildlife biologist, the Kanab field manager, and the acting monument manager for Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This new district combines the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the Kanab Field Office into one district co-located in Kanab. Whit Bunting has been selected as the permanent Kanab field manager. Vicki Tyler is currently serving as the acting Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument manager.

“It has been a privilege to be the Utah state director for the last three years,” said Roberson, by way of the news release. “We’ve built a highly effective team here in Utah. I am confident in their commitment to the BLM’s multiple use mission and that they will continue to responsibly manage public lands for present and future generations.”

“We committed to building and maintaining a strong, healthy Team Utah,” said Anita Bilbao, acting state director. “We will miss Ed’s thoughtful leadership and know that he has set us up for a successful transition. We are proud of the work our team has accomplished and wish Ed well in retirement. I am humbled to serve in his footsteps.”

The BLM manages almost 23 million acres of public lands and over 36 million acres of sub-surface mineral across state of Utah. With five administrative districts statewide, decisionmakers live in and close to the communities they serve, the news release said.


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