BOISE, Idaho (KLIX) The director of the Idaho Department of Lands will be stepping down in January to take on a new job with the Idaho Forest Group. Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter announced this week that Director Tom Schultz will be leaving his post to become vice president of Government Affairs and Community Outreach. Schultz has overseen the management of the millions of acres of endowment land in Idaho and programs related to mining, oil and gas, forestry, and fire. Schultz took over the position in 2011 after serving as the administrator for the Trust Lands Management Division with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. The Land Board, which guides the department, will discuss the IDL director position at the next meeting in January.
“Under Tom Schultz’s leadership, Idaho has seen strong financial returns from the use of endowment trust lands, the creation of multiple rangeland fire protection associations to keep fires small across southern Idaho, major improvements to Idaho’s oil and gas regulatory program, and expansion of the Good Neighbor Authority program to increase active management on Idaho’s federally managed public lands,” Governor Otter said in a prepared statement. “Idaho’s endowment trust lands and other natural resources are better off today because of Tom’s service.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to work for Governor Otter and the Idaho Board of Land Commissioners for the past six years,” Schultz said. “I have appreciated their support and confidence and am proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish for the school children and citizens of Idaho.”