Salazar Appoints Steve Doherty as Senior Northwest Advisor

Last edited 09/29/2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has appointed Steve Doherty, an experienced attorney, former Montana state senator, and recent parks and wildlife commission chair, as Senior Advisor to the Secretary for the Northwest.

“Steve's more than 20 years of experience in tribal and natural resource law, his familiarity with Northwest and Native American issues, and his knowledge of state politics will enable him to provide outstanding advice to me in this position,” Salazar said. Doherty will serve as the Secretary's “eyes and ears” in this important region.

Doherty currently is partner at Smith & Doherty, PC in Montana. He has more than two decades of legal practice in civil litigation as well as litigation pertaining to tribal entities and governments in tribal, federal and state courts.

From 2005 to 2009 he chaired the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission, which oversees the regulation and management of lands valued by hunters, anglers, outdoor enthusiasts, and other recreationists from Montana and throughout the United States.

He previously served 12 years in the Montana State Senate, including two terms as Senate Minority Leader. In addition, Doherty is the National Founding Co-Chair of Progressive States Network, an organization he helped create to steer sound, progressive public policy proposals to state legislatures across the country.

Doherty has a law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School and experience as a legal intern on the Columbia River Inter Tribal Fish Commission in Oregon for three years and as a community organizer for the Northern Plains Resource Council in Montana for five years.

In his new job, Doherty will ensure that the views of the Secretary are considered and implemented in all appropriate venues, and that the Secretary has adequate, timely information about project developments, opinions and concerns from elected officials, upcoming deadlines, legal issues, potential media attention, and imminent controversies in any area of the Department of the Interior's jurisdiction.

“My senior advisor for the Northwest is a champion for public lands, lakes, streams, and rivers,” said Secretary Salazar. “He understands the balance required to manage these resources as critical wildlife habitats and recreation opportunities for the public.”

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