To the dismay of environmentalists, Cy Jamison, a House subcommittee aide and former assistant to James Watt, was nominated Wednesday to head the Bureau of Land Management, which manages 300 million acres of federal lands in the West and Alaska.

Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan said that with 18 years of experience in natural resources policymaking in Congress and in prior jobs with the Interior Department, "Cy Jamison has the qualifications needed to skillfully guide the BLM in the task of managing one-eighth of our country's land area."But environmentalists vehemently disagreed, saying Jamison had long been aligned with forces opposed to creation of new wilderness areas and protection of public lands from development.

Jamison's nomination is subject to Senate confirmation and environmentalists say they will oppose him.

For most of the last eight years, Jamison has worked for Rep. Ron Marlenee, R-Mont., as an aide on the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee's subcommittee on national parks and federal lands.

Prior to coming to Washington, Jamison was a public affairs specialist in the BLM's Montana state office.