Elko native is BLM chief


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Erin Kelly, Reno Gazette Journal

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Washington, DC - April 12, 2014

Elko native Neil Kornze was confirmed by the Senate last week as the new director of the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees nearly 70 percent of the land in Nevada.

"Neil is just perfect for this position," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "Raised in Elko, Nevada, Neil really understands the role of public lands in rural America, and natural resources across the West."

Kornze replaces fellow Nevadan Bob Abbey of Reno, who retired in 2012. Kornze had been serving as acting director until his confirmation on Tuesday. He had previously worked as Reid's senior aide on public lands issues.

Some Republicans had said that Kornze, 35, was too young for the job as head of an agency that oversees 245 million acres of land, most of it in the West. More than 48 million of those acres are in Nevada.

But, in the end, the Senate voted 71-28 to approve Kornze. Both Reid and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., voted for the Nevadan.