Kathleen Clarke

SALT LAKE CITY — Kathleen Clarke, a Bountiful native who served as the national director of the Bureau of Land Management, has been tapped by Gov. Gary Herbert to be his point person on public land issues.

Clarke's appointment as head of the Public Lands Policy Coordination Office was announced Friday by Herbert, who described Clarke as a professional with a "wealth of experience and knowledge."

Most recently Clarke was the deputy commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, the same department where her predecessor John Harja will work as a regulatory and environmental adviser.

Herbert's announcement said Harja's work in that agency will be critical given the issues under its purview that relate to wolf management, sage grouse and livestock conflicts, grazing permits and air quality and water quality regulations facing agriculture.

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Before her five years with the BLM in Washington, D.C., Clarke was the executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources and worked for Rep. Jim Hansen, R-Utah. Her policy portfolio includes a focus on critical issues such as water rights, grazing, tribal affairs, natural resource management, energy and wildlife.

“I am both honored and excited about the opportunity to work with Governor Herbert on our many land use issues,” Clarke said. “It is imperative that we work together with local, state and federal landowners to reach a balanced approach for our recreational, wildlife and agricultural interests.”

Amy Joi O'Donoghue, Twitter: amyjoi16