New BLM Chief Named
- May 7, 1997
- Leave a comment
President Clinton, who angered many in Utah by declaring 1.7 million acres within the state a national monument, is naming a Utah attorney to head the federal Bureau of Land Management.
Clinton named Pat Shea, a 48-year-old Salt Lake City attorney, to lead the BLM, which manages more than 270 million acres of federal land across the West.
It will manage the newly declared Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah's canyon lands; Clinton's declaration of the Grand Staircase-Escalante as a federal monument last September unleashed a torrent of criticism from Utah officials, who called it a federal land grab and said they should have been consulted.
Shea's appointment to run the agency that will manage the new monument was seen widely as an olive branch to Utah officials.
Shea has worked as general counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has served as chairman of the Utah Democratic Party. Among those supporting him for the post are Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Shea lost the 1992 gubernatorial race to Leavitt and was crushed when he tried to unseat Hatch in 1994.