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News Release
BLM announces new District Manager in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene - 09/09/19

Portland, Ore. – Today the Bureau of Land Management is announcing the selection of Kurt Pindel as the new District Manager for the Coeur d'Alene and the Spokane Districts. 

In a nearly 30-year career in federal service, Pindel has worked for the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management across many of the western States. Over the last 30 years, Pindel has worked as a wildlife biologist, fire ecologist, recreation manager, and, recently, a Forest Service District Ranger in both South Dakota and Idaho.

“Kurt has helped build strong community relationships in his tenures as a District Ranger and looks forward to helping build and strengthen community relationships across Washington and northern Idaho,” said Oregon/Washington Associate State Director Theresa Hanley.

“Kurt has a proven track record as both a leader and a natural resource manager,” added BLM Idaho State Director John F. Ruhs.  “The BLM combined the management of the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene Districts several years ago, and we believe Kurt will bring exceptional skills to a demanding job. We are excited for him to start.”

Pindel was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but grew up in the suburbs of Boston. Pindel is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a degree in wildlife management. In his personal time he loves to spend time with his family in America’s great outdoors.    

The majority of BLM public lands in Washington are east of the Cascade crest in the central Columbia Basin and in the highlands of northeastern Washington along the Canadian border. In addition, public lands are found in northern Puget Sound, north of Seattle in San Juan County, which have been designated as the San Juan Island National Monument. A full range of habitats are found on the public lands in Washington and include the maritime Puget Sound lowlands, the central Columbia Basin sagebrush regime, many riparian zones, and the coniferous forest and sub-alpine areas of northeast Washington.

The lands include one wilderness area, one wilderness study area and numerous areas managed principally for their recreational, riparian and wildlife values. These areas include recreation sites in the Yakima River Canyon (more than 600,000 visitor days each year), the Juniper Dunes Wilderness and nearby off-highway vehicle use area outside the Tri-Cities, and the Channeled Scablands riparian areas just west of Spokane.

BLM lands in northern Idaho include a mix of forests, grasslands and river corridors.  Altogether, the Coeur d’Alene District encompasses some 230,000 acres of land.  Water-based recreation and forestry are the two largest program areas on the Coeur d’Alene District, including 13 recreation sites on and around Lake Coeur d’Alene, plus numerous recreation sites along the Lower Salmon River. Several of the sites on Lake Coeur d’Alene provide public boat launch facilities, including the popular Blackwell Island boat launch adjacent to downtown Coeur d’Alene.

The Coeur d’Alene District has a robust, integrated forestry and fuels program utilizing timber harvest, prescribed burning, slash piling, mastication and other forestry treatments to minimize hazardous fuels and promote forest health and resiliency.  The District authorizes the harvest of an average 3 to 6 million board feet of public land timber each year, however large fire salvage projects in recent years have increased that amount. 

The Coeur d’Alene District was recently in the news with the announcement that archeologists at the Cooper’s Ferry site (in the Cottonwood Field Office) have found evidence that puts the first peoples on the North American continent about 1,000 years earlier than scientists previously thought. Archeological excavations at the Cooper’s Ferry site have been occurring for the past 10 years.

Spokane District contact information and map: https://www.blm.gov/office/spokane-district-office

Spokane District video: https://youtu.be/9Nz3NNh-Y5s

Coeur d’Alene District information is available: https://www.blm.gov/office/coeur-dalene-district-office


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017. These activities supported more than 468,000 jobs.

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