Jim Lyons has been a Lecturer and Research Scholar at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies since 2000. He just completed a two-year appointment as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress where he focused on public land policy, natural resource conservation, and wildlife management issues.
Under President Clinton, Jim served as Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment in the US Department of Agriculture where he oversaw the Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service which he helped to establish. At USDA, Jim was an architect of President Clinton’s Northwest forest plan and advanced new rules for national forest planning and the concept of “ecosystem management” to guide national forest management. Jim also helped lead the effort to protect 58 million acres of national forests under President Clinton’s “roadless rule.”
Jim served in the Obama Administration’s Department of the Interior, as the Deputy Assistant Secretary working primarily on Western energy, public land management, and conservation issues. Jim was one of the Departmental leads responsible for developing an 11-state strategy for conserving the Greater sage grouse – an iconic wildlife species of the Western rangelands in the United States.
Jim has worked in the fields of land and resource management and conservation throughout his 35-year career at the highest levels of government, in the US Congress, and in leadership roles in various non-profit organizations. Jim received an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Forestry degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and will be recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus by the “forestry school” this fall.