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Washington • Rep. Rob Bishop will head a House Natural Resources subcommittee that oversees public lands, national parks and forests during the upcoming session of Congress.

Incoming Committee Chairman Doc Hastings announced Wednesday the five subcommittee leaders, including Bishop, who was widely expected to move from being the ranking Republican on the panel to chairman now that the GOP controls the chamber.

"Rob has been a vocal leader on public lands issues and will be able to put his experience and expertise to use as chairman of the subcommittee," Hastings said in a statement. "He understands that keeping public lands open to the public is crucial for job creation and economic growth, and I am pleased to be able to appoint Rob to this leadership role."

Bishop has been a vocal critic of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the Obama administration's actions with regard to public-lands policies.

The Utah congressman has warned that the administration — despite repeated denials — is eager to name more national monuments and has raised concern that environmental laws are tripping up the ability to secure the nation's borders with Mexico and Canada.

Utah's other Republican House member, Jason Chaffetz, has been tapped to head an Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee over national security and foreign operations.

Rep. Jim Matheson, a Democrat, is expected to remain on the Energy and Commerce Committee.