Dolores Public Lands Manager Steve Beverlin will serve as the first-ever Colorado Service First coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
The forest services Rocky Mountain Regional Office and the BLMs Colorado state office created the new position after a joint review of Service First operations, according to a statement the San Juan Public Lands Center in Durango released Friday.
The Service First Initiative allows forest service and BLM offices to combine resources to improve public land management, according to the San Juan Public Lands Center. Service First lets agencies explore alternative methods to deliver one-stop customer services to the public, along with methods to share staff and resources to manage multiple-use federal lands and reduce costs.
Combining forest service and BLM efforts into one office in 1998, the San Juan Public Lands Center marked one of the initial steps in the Service First effort, said Bill Dunkelberger, associate BLM center manager/deputy forest supervisor at the San Juan Public Lands Center.
Beverlin will take that management approach to a new level when he helps forest service and BLM offices throughout Colorado merge efforts, Dunkelberger said by phone Friday.
Weve never had anybody at a statewide level to coordinate those efforts, Dunkelberger said. Steve will be the first to do that.
Beverlin will start at his new position the week of March 28, Dunkelberger said.
In his new position, Beverlin will be stationed out of Durango, according to the San Juan Public Lands Center. He will report to Mark Stiles, San Juan Forest supervisor/BLM center manager, and to Dan Dallas, Rio Grande Forest supervisor/BLM San Luis Valley Center manager. Beverlin will travel to Denver and to other units to work with all levels of the forest service and BLM in Colorado. He will work to improve agency efficiency in resource management and to provide better service to the public and employees.
The San Juan Public Lands Center will announce a temporary replacement at the Dolores Public Lands Office until the position can be filled permanently. In the meantime, Tom Rice, associate manager for the Dolores Public Lands Office, will be acting manager.
We thank Steve for his years of leadership at the Dolores Public Lands Office and appreciate his many accomplishments on the San Juan, Dunkelberger said in the prepared statement from the San Juan Public Lands Center. We believe he was selected for this new position because of his track record and work ethic, and we look forward to continue working with him in his new capacity.
Beverlin could not be reached for comment before press time Friday.
In his position as Dolores Public Lands manager, Beverlin helped develop the Boggy-Glade Travel Management Plan. The plan called for the elimination of cross-country travel and game retrieval, and for the closure of 155 miles of forest service roads. Released in August 2010, the plan has since been remanded for further review.
The proposed forest road closures sparked a backlash from Montezuma County residents who dont want to lose access to public lands. On Feb. 4, more than 100 people carrying picket signs and banners marched on the Dolores Public Lands Office to express their opposition to the travel plan. At the time, Beverlin said its important to recognize the forest service receives comments from a variety of interests.
We deal with the whole spectrum of the public, he said on Feb. 4. There are many sides to every issue.
More than 150 people crowded into the Dolores Community Center on March 14 to hear a presentation on public lands in Colorado. The presentation was designed to address local forest service travel management plans.
Beverlins role in the travel plan did not influence the decision to transfer him to a new position, Dunkelberger said.
No not at all, Dunkelberger said by phone. We plan to continue to work on travel management with the public and the county commissioners now.
Journal Staff Writer Kimberly Benedict contributed to this article.
Reach Russell Smyth at [email protected]