Nevadan vetted as possible BLM nominee

WASHINGTON -- Bob Abbey, a former state director for the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada, is in line to be nominated to head the BLM nationally, Sen. Harry Reid said Thursday.

Reid, D-Nev., said he put Abbey's name forward, and he expected the Nevadan to be selected.

Other sources confirmed Abbey, who lives in Reno, was being vetted by the Obama administration.

A spokeswoman for Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said a couple of months could pass before the Obama administration announces a BLM nominee. "At this point no decisions have been made. Secretary Salazar has cast a wide net," Kendra Barkoff said.

Abbey was Nevada state director of the BLM from 1997 until he retired from the government in 2005. He had a 25-year career with the federal land agency.

Abbey is a partner in a Henderson-based public land and mineral consulting firm, Abbey, Stubbs & Ford LLC.

"Congratulations may be a little premature," Abbey said in an e-mail Thursday. "I am just one of several people being considered for the BLM director position and no announcement has been made.

"I am certainly honored that I am under consideration and I truly appreciate Senator Reid's support," he said. "It is now up to the White House and Secretary (Ken) Salazar to nominate the person they believe can best manage our nation's public lands."

The Bureau of Land Management oversees activities on 256 million acres of federal land, mostly in the West.

It is a major presence in Nevada, where it manages energy exploration, grazing activities, wild horse management and recreation areas over 48 million acres of public land.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at or 202-783-1760.