UNLV professor to lead BLM public lands legal team

A UNLV law professor has been tapped by the Obama administration to lead a team of lawyers for the Bureau of Land Management.

Starting Monday, Bret Birdsong will serve as deputy solicitor for land resources at the Department of Interior in Washington, D.C.

Birdsong has served on the faculty at UNLV’s Boyd Law School for since 2000, teaching public lands and natural resources law, water law, environmental quality law, administrative law and property.

He will join a team of six deputy solicitors reporting to Solicitor Hilary Tompkins, the Interior Department’s top lawyer. His work will involve legal issues concerning renewable energy facilities, wilderness, recreation, livestock grazing, forestry and timber sales, national monuments and other uses of public land.

The BLM manages some 250 million acres nationwide, including 70 percent of the land in Nevada.

In a written statement, Birdsong called the appointment “a thrill and a honor” and said he looked forward to returning to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in a few years “enriched in my legal experience and with new perspectives to bring to my scholarship and teaching.”

Before coming to UNLV, he spend six years with the Department of Justice as a trial attorney specializing in public land and natural resources cases.

Contact reporter Henry Brean at hbrean@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0350.