WASHINGTON – Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne today applauded President Bush’s intention to nominate Lyle Laverty as Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. Laverty must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
“Lyle is an outstanding leader with a lifetime of experience in managing parks and forests and overseeing the stewardship of wildlife,” Secretary Kempthorne said. “Having served at both the state and federal levels, he sees the complete picture, understands the critical importance of working with communities and is a strong advocate of broad partnership efforts.”
Since 2001, Laverty has been the Director of Colorado State Parks, providing leadership for the state’s Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Among his major accomplishments as director, Laverty established a strong natural resource program to improve and sustain the ecological, scenic, and scientific assets of Colorado state parks through proactive stewardship.
During his tenure, he opened two new state parks and began planning on another two. The initiatives involved investment costs of more than $70 million. He raised $40 million to fund a Corps of Engineers partnership that rehabilitated Cherry Creek, Chatfield, and Trinidad state parks. Laverty also played a key role in establishing the Front Range Trail, a 700-mile trail extending through Colorado from Wyoming to New Mexico.
He launched aggressive hazardous fuel treatments in eight Front Range state parks near urban-wildland interface areas. Laverty developed division-wide employee training, career development and recognition programs and expanded opportunities for educating Colorado youth about natural resource stewardship. He also led an effort to develop and implement business strategies to stabilize and strengthen the financial conditions of state parks and applied market investment strategies to facility investments, enhancing park revenue.
From 1965 to 2000, Laverty was a career employee of the U.S. Forest Service, where he rose through the ranks to serve successively as a Forest Supervisor at Mendocino National Forest; Director of Recreation and Wilderness Resources at USDA headquarters; Regional Forester in the Rocky Mountain Region; and Associate Deputy Chief at headquarters. In the latter capacity, he provided executive leadership for USFS’s implementation of the National Fire Plan.
As a Regional Forester, he oversaw the management and stewardship of more than 24 million acres of National Forests and National Grasslands in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska. He carried out numerous resource programs, including timber management, fire and fuel management, watershed, range and recreation programs.
Laverty has a bachelor of science degree in Forest Management from Humboldt State University, Arcata, Calif. (June 1965); a master’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University, Fairfax, Va. (May 1981); and is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Program of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (August 1997).
He has served on the Board of Directors of numerous organizations, including the National Association of State Park Directors; National Society of Park Resources; Colorado Fourteeners Initiative; Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado; and Denver Metro Advisory Board for The Salvation Army.
Laverty is professionally accredited as a California Registered Professional Forester and a Certified Forester, Society of American Foresters. He is a member of the Society of American Foresters and the National Recreation and Parks Association.
As Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Laverty would be responsible for overseeing policy for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service, which have a combined annual budget of about $3.6 billion, and a combined workforce of about 30,000 employees.