BLM names new state director

Doug Vilsack

A state administrator has accepted a federal position to oversee the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Colorado.

Doug Vilsack is scheduled to begin his new duties as state director of the BLM on Aug. 14. 

He previously served as assistant director for parks, wildlife and lands for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources.

Vilsack will succeed Stephanie Connolly, who served as acting state director. She will return to her role as acting associate state director.

“Doug Vilsack knows the people and lands of Colorado, with over 15 years of experience in the natural resources and energy fields, including roles in the public, private and nonprofit sectors,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. 

“He has worked collaboratively with Coloradans, the BLM and other government agencies and conservationists and industry groups on a wide range of land management issues in the state. We are so pleased he has agreed to bring that expertise and the relationships he has built over the decades to lead the BLM’s work in Colorado,” Stone-Manning added.

Vilsack will oversee management of 8.3 million acres of public lands and 27 million acres of subsurface mineral estates, most of that on the Western Slope.

As assistant director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, he communicated, developed, negotiated and recommended policies affecting parks, wildlife and state lands. He previously served as director of legislative affairs at the DNR.

Before joining the state, Vilsack worked as a lawyer and handled legal issues related to energy, mining, public lands and water.

He founded and led several nonprofit organizations. The Posner Center for International Development, a network of Colorado-based businesses and organizations, addresses global poverty. The center established distribution networks for household solar products on the Navajo Nation and in rural Africa.

Vilsack holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental systems and natural resource management from Colorado College and a law degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.