Department of the Interior

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For Immediate Release
Nov. 16, 2005

Hugh Vickery

Secretary Norton Announces Resignation of Craig Manson, Commends His Stewardship of Nation's Parks and Wildlife

Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton today announced the resignation of Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Craig Manson, who has accepted a teaching position at the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. Norton commended Manson's stewardship of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service in his four years as assistant secretary and, particularly, his role in advancing President Bush's commitment to cooperative conservation.

"In your quiet and effective way, you have accomplished much in your service overseeing the National Park System and the Fish and Wildlife Service," Secretary Norton wrote in a letter to Manson thanking him for his service. "More than 5,000 completed or underway projects are making our national parks better places to visit. The National Wildlife Refuge System has had its largest budget increase in its 100-year history. State officials and sportsmen praise the new attitude of cooperation you brought to wildlife management.

"You have been a powerful voice for reason and action on endangered species issues. The decision by the House of Representatives to pass a comprehensive reform of the Endangered Species Act is a tribute to your powers of persuasion. Yesterday's announcement that grizzly bears in Yellowstone are growing in number to the point where they no longer need to be considered endangered is a fitting capstone of your remarkable service."

In his letter to Secretary Norton, Manson commended her for "a reawakening of the spirit of citizen stewardship that is true to the vision of President Teddy Roosevelt," citing the millions of acres of wildlife habitat that have been conserved in the past five years through cooperative efforts.

"Balance and common sense are returning to the management of our nation's natural resources," Manson wrote. "We have again welcomed back the perspectives of hunters, anglers and private landowners whose participation is vital to conservation in America."

Manson's resignation is effective Dec. 31. At that time, Secretary Norton will name an acting assistant secretary until President Bush nominates and the Senate confirms a successor.

Prior to becoming assistant secretary in 2001, Manson served as a judge of the Superior Court of California in Sacramento. Before that, he was General Counsel of the California Department of Fish and Game from 1993 to 1998. He practiced law in Sacramento from 1989 to 1993.

A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Manson served on active duty in the Air Force from 1976 to 1989 and then as a colonel in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. His military awards include the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster. Manson received his law degree with great distinction from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, where he was named Outstanding Graduating Senior, served as Editor-in-Chief of the Pacific Law Review, and was elected to the Order of the Coif. From 1993 to 2001, Manson served as a faculty member at McGeorge.