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Utah Official Named BLM Law Enforcement Director

Utah Official Named BLM Law Enforcement Director

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- William Woody, chief of law enforcement for the Utah Department of Natural Resources, has been named the new director of law enforcement for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

His appointment was announced this week by BLM Director Kathleen Clarke, a former state Natural Resources director.

"William Woody brings vast experience to this position," said Clarke. "He understands the issues BLM rangers and investigators face."

Keith Aller, special agent in charge of law enforcement in the BLM's Utah office, agreed. "He's a very professional, very competent investigator," he said.

A graduate of Utah State University, Woody began his career as a sheriff's deputy in Rich County. He later became a trooper for the Utah Highway Patrol before joining Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources as a conservation officer in 1985. He briefly worked for the Phoenix Police Department in the early 1990s but soon returned to Utah's wildlife division.

Woody later graduated from the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., and worked his way up the ranks at the wildlife agency, serving as an investigator, lieutenant and captain. In 2001, he was appointed to lead the 160-officer Natural Resources law enforcement unit.

He served as lead investigator for Utah's Homeland Security Task Force during the 2002 Games, and is well respected in law enforcement circles, said DWR Director Kevin Conway.

Woody is scheduled to take his BLM post in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 7. He will oversee 250 federal law-enforcement officers responsible for protecting public safety and natural resources on 262 million acres of BLM lands, which comprise one-eighth of the nation's total acreage.

In Utah, about 20 federal rangers patrol 22 million acres of BLM lands.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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