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Caswell Confirmed as BLM Director

by Associated Press
Capital Press, August 7, 2007

BOISE, Idaho - The U.S. Senate has confirmed Idaho resident James Caswell as director of the federal Bureau of Land Management.

President Bush nominated Caswell - who currently heads Idaho's Office of Species Conservation - to replace Kathleen Clarke in running the agency which manages about one-eighth of the land in the United States. Clarke resigned in February.

But late last month, Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar blocked Caswell's confirmation in an attempt to draw attention to his state's conflict with the Department of Interior over natural gas drilling on the scenic Roan Plateau. After the block, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, a former Idaho governor, promised he would respond to Salazar in a letter.

The Senate's approval of Caswell came late Friday evening, Idaho Sens. Larry Craig and Mike Crapo said Monday.

"I look forward to having someone of Jim's caliber heading up BLM," Craig said in a statement. "He'll bring an Idahoan's perspective to land management and related issues at the agency."

Before taking his current job, Caswell spent 33 years in various positions with the BLM, Bonneville Power Administration and the U.S. Forest Service.

Associated Press
Caswell Confirmed as BLM Director
Capital Press, August 7, 2007

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