Bureau of Land Management Director Robert Abbey announced Thursday that he will retire at the end of May.
Abbey was appointed to the position in 2009 by President Barack Obama, and has served 34 years in state and federal service. Post-retirement, Abbey will return to Mississippi to live with his family full-time, according to a news release.
Abbey oversaw the approval of 29 large-scale renewable energy projects during his time as director, including 16 solar projects, five wind farms, and eight geothermal plants. Prior to 2009, not a single solar project had been approved for construction on public lands. He also implemented important reforms to BLM's oil- and gas-leasing process while serving as director, including the approval of the Greater Natural Buttes project in Utah.
Following Abbey's retirement, BLM Deputy Director Mike Pool will serve as acting director.