Lynda J. Roush, manager of the Bureau of Land Management’s Arcata Field Office, is retiring after a 40-year career in government service.
Roush has had a distinguished career, serving in posts across California before coming to the North Coast where she plans to reside in retirement.
“Lynda’s hallmark has been her commitment to communities and building partnerships to benefit public lands and natural resources,” said BLM California State Director Jim Kenna. “We will miss her greatly, but her legacy will live on in the projects she led and the people she mentored.”
Roush began public service with a brief stint at the Plumas National Forest in northeast California and then moved to the BLM in her hometown of Susanville. She transferred to Barstow to work as a realty specialist and then moved to Alturas where she was the planning and environmental coordinator and realty specialist before being promoted to resource area manager.
She was named Arcata field manager in 1991.
In Alturas, Roush was the leader of many “firsts.” She led development of the office’s first resource management plan, and oversaw establishment of riparian improvement projects at Fitzhugh and Cedar creeks, both of which involved diverse partners including ranching interests and environmental groups. She led the environmental review process for the area’s first “run of river” hydroelectric power plant on the Pit River.
Under Roush’s leadership, the agency’s Arcata Field Office became the steward, along with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, for the Headwaters Forest Reserve, a 7,500-acre tract containing some of the last remaining stands of old growth redwood trees.
She nurtured partnerships that conserved swaths of old growth forest within and bordering the King Range National Conservation Area, and oversaw development of the King Range Wilderness Management Plan, the first such plan completed by the BLM in California.
During her tenure the BLM partnered with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Humboldt County to manage the Mike Thompson Wildlife Area, South Spit, Humboldt Bay. There, the BLM took the lead in restoring nesting habitat for the snowy plover, a threatened shorebird, and habitat for endangered beach plants. She worked with partners to provide public recreation access and coordinated closely with Native American tribes.
Roush also led BLM efforts to expand public access and conserve coastal resources along the coast west of Ferndale. The Lost Coast Headlands Project returned the former Centerville Naval Facility site to public ownership, maintained ranching practices and provided new recreational trails.
Most recently, public access to the Trinidad Light Station was greatly improved with the transfer of property from the U.S. Coast Guard to public ownership under the BLM’s management and partnership with the community.
Roush’s leadership and focus on partnerships was heralded throughout the BLM, and in 2010 she received the BLM Director’s Award for Excellence through Leadership.
“I’ve been honored to work with staffs of hard-working, dedicated professionals, and the successes we’ve had are because of them,” Roush said. “I have been so fortunate to enjoy a long and rewarding career, and I thank my colleagues and our partners for allowing me to be part of their work. Now, I am looking forward to more free time to get out and enjoy those public lands!”