Friday, April 23, 2010

Bureau of Land Management Official Victor Lozano Speaks at the Sturm College of Law

Victor Lozano, a Washington, D.C.-based official with the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM), spoke recently at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law about the role of BLM in managing huge tracts of federally owned land.

Mr. Lozano, who is shown second from the right in the picture, said BLM manages resources on 253 million surface acres as well as 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estates. These lands constitute about 13 percent of the total land surface of the U.S.

One of the key land managements issues that Mr. Lozano is now working on involves the siting on BLM lands of wind, solar, and geothermal energy projects. These projects have been prioritized for rapid consideration by President Obama and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who happens to be a Colorado native and is a former U.S. Senator from Colorado.

Mr. Lozano, who works closely with Secretary Salazar's staff, said that transmission issues -- that is to say, transmitting the electricity from where it is generated to where it is used -- is a particularly difficult issue since there are many levels of government involved in transmission matters. He also talked about the need for the BLM to work closely with other departments within Interior as well as federal departments outside of Interior such as the Department of Defense.

Before closing, he noted that the BLM will be experiencing significant loss of employees due to retirement in the coming years and he encouraged students to think about applying for BLM positions.

It was a particular delight to host Mr. Lozano since, in addition to his professional role at BLM, he is also a student in the Masters in Resource Law Studies program at the College of Law. Two years ago he started the program while he served at the BLM office at the Federal Center in Denver. With his move to Washington, D.C., he has taken several short courses and will undertake a directed research project in order to complete his remaining course work.

Our nation is served well by the work and commitment of professionals such as Vic Lozano, and many others from the LLM and Masters in Resource Law Studies programs who are also working in key federal positions.

--Don Smith
Graduate Program Director

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