PEOPLE

Former Interior Official Lynn Scarlett Joins Nature Conservancy

Lynn Scarlett
National Journal
Christopher Snow Hopkins
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Christopher Snow Hopkins
Sept. 5, 2013, 3:30 p.m.

When Lynn Scar­lett was the second highest-rank­ing of­fi­cial at the In­teri­or De­part­ment, her col­leagues re­ferred to her as “the gazelle.” A fan­at­ic­al birder and self-de­scribed “de­votee” of wild­life refuges, Scar­lett op­er­ates at a man­ic pace and al­ways seems to be in a jog.

Earli­er this week, Scar­lett was named man­aging dir­ect­or for pub­lic policy at the Nature Con­servancy, where she will be re­united with Bob Bendick, with whom Scar­lett co­chairs the Prac­ti­tion­ers’ Net­work for Large Land­scape Con­ser­va­tion.

Scar­lett, 63, was raised in west­ern Pennsylvania — “not far from where Rachel Car­son lived,” she said — and spent much of her child­hood in a 27-acre wooded lot be­hind her house. “Ever since I could wield the bin­ocu­lars when I was 5 or 6 years old, my moth­er took me out bird­ing.”

After re­ceiv­ing bach­el­or’s and mas­ter’s de­grees from the Uni­versity of Cali­for­nia (Santa Bar­bara), Scar­lett was hired by the Los Angeles-based Reas­on Found­a­tion, where she spe­cial­ized in haz­ard­ous-waste and oth­er en­vir­on­ment­al-policy is­sues. Over the course of 15 years at the liber­tari­an think tank, Scar­lett served as re­search dir­ect­or, vice pres­id­ent for policy, and even­tu­ally pres­id­ent and ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or.

When George W. Bush was elec­ted to his first term, Scar­lett was re­cruited to the In­teri­or De­part­ment, cus­todi­an of 500 mil­lion acres of fed­er­al pub­lic lands, as as­sist­ant sec­ret­ary for policy, man­age­ment, and budget. After serving briefly as head of the de­part­ment fol­low­ing the resig­na­tion of Sec­ret­ary Gale Norton in 2006, Scar­lett was el­ev­ated to deputy sec­ret­ary and chief op­er­at­ing of­ficer un­der Norton’s suc­cessor, Dirk Kempthorne. She was briefly en­snared in con­tro­versy the fol­low­ing year, when she ap­peared be­fore a con­gres­sion­al com­mit­tee to as­sure law­makers that she would re­view any de­cisions made by a rep­rob­ate Fish and Wild­life Ser­vice of­fi­cial, who had resigned amid ac­cus­a­tions that she vi­ol­ated fed­er­al eth­ics rules.

To­ward the end of her ten­ure, Scar­lett served as a lead au­thor on the U.S. Na­tion­al Cli­mate As­sess­ment, which com­piled and syn­thes­ized re­search on the im­plic­a­tions of cli­mate change. Some land and wa­ter un­der the pur­view of the In­teri­or De­part­ment, such as the Ever­glades in south­ern Flor­ida, are es­pe­cially vul­ner­able to sea-level rise, chan­ging pat­terns of pre­cip­it­a­tion, and oth­er symp­toms of a warm­ing plan­et. “As prudent man­agers, we needed to have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of what these ef­fects were, so that we could up our game, so that we could en­sure we were re­du­cing risk to those re­sources and man­aging wisely,” Scar­lett said.

At the same time, she and her col­leagues made sure not to ex­ceed their man­date, which was to as­sess the risks as­so­ci­ated with cli­mate change, not set policy. “That was a mat­ter for the Con­gress,” Scar­lett said.

Be­fore ar­riv­ing at the Nature Con­servancy, Scar­lett was co­dir­ect­or of Re­sources for the Fu­ture’s Cen­ter for Man­age­ment of Eco­lo­gic­al Wealth. When in Wash­ing­ton, her fa­vor­ite bird­ing des­tin­a­tions are Bom­bay Hook Na­tion­al Wild­life Refuge and Prime Hook Na­tion­al Wild­life Refuge, both on the Delaware coast. She has two grand­chil­dren, ages 1 and 4.

What We're Following See More »
WOULD HAVE BEEN HIS SECOND STINT
Howard Dean Pulls out of DNC Race
38 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chair, announced he's pulling out of the running to regain the chairman's post. Dean "announced in a pre-recorded video to a conference of state Democratic chairs that he would step aside to allow for a new face to lead the party as it seeks to rebuild."

Source:
RUBENSTEIN FUNDING ELEVATOR REPAIR
Washington Monument Closed until 2019
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Once again, businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein has come through for the National Park Service. This time, he's pledged funding needed to modernize the Washington Monument's elevator-- but the monument will remain closed until 2019 while repairs and improvements are underway. Rubenstein's donation of between $2-3 million, announced Friday, will correct those ongoing elevator issues, which have shuttered the monument since August 17."

Source:
$618 BILLION IN FUNDING
By a Big Margin, House Passes Defense Bill
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House this morning by a 375-34 vote. The bill, which heads to the Senate next week for final consideration, would fund the military to the tune of $618.7 billion, "about $3.2 billion more than the president requested for fiscal 2017. ... The White House has issued a veto threat on both the House and Senate-passed versions of the bill, but has not yet said if it will sign the compromise bill released by the conference committee this week."

Source:
FILED BY JILL STEIN
Michigan Attorney General Sues to End Recount
6 hours ago
THE LATEST

Bill Schuette, Michigan's attorney general, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state to halt the recount of the state's voting results. The recount was elected by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Schuette says the recount shouldn't occur because Stein cited no evidence of voter fraud or tabulation error.

Source:
SUCCEEDS UPTON
Walden to Chair Energy and Commerce Committee
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Republicans have elected Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) the next chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden defeated Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Barton (R-TX), the former committee chairman, in the race for the gavel" to succeed Michgan's Fred Upton.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login