Jim Lyons is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he focuses on public land policy, natural resource conservation, and endangered species issues. Lyons has also been a lecturer and research scholar at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies since 2000.

Under former President Bill Clinton, Lyons served as undersecretary for natural resources and environment in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), where he oversaw the Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, which he helped to establish. At the USDA, Lyons 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. Lyons also helped lead the effort to protect 58 million acres of national forests under President Clinton’s Roadless Rule.

Lyons served in the Obama administration’s Department of the Interior, first as counselor to the assistant secretary for land and minerals management and later as the deputy assistant secretary, working primarily on Western energy, land management, and conservation issues. Lyons 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.

Lyons has worked in the field of conservation throughout his 35-year career at the highest levels of government, in Congress, and in leadership roles in various nonprofit organizations. He received an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Forestry from Yale University.

By Jim Lyons
5 Trump Administration Efforts That Could Undermine the Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation StrategyCenter for American ProgressApril 8, 2019
Improving Infrastructure to Benefit Communities—Without Harming the EnvironmentCenter for American ProgressFebruary 15, 2019
President Trump Is Sacrificing Our Public Lands LegacyHigh Country NewsAugust 23, 2018
Zinke’s Plans Could Undermine the Sage-Grouse Conservation Strategy and Endangered Species ActCenter for American ProgressJune 25, 2018
The Endangered Species Act Itself Could Go ExtinctHigh Country NewsJanuary 9, 2018
Under Threat: The Endangered Species Act and the Plants and Wildlife It ProtectsCenter for American ProgressNovember 28, 2017
The Rush to Develop Oil and Gas We Don’t NeedThe New York TimesAugust 28, 2017
Lessons Learned from the State-Federal Effort to Conserve the Greater Sage-GrouseCenter for American ProgressJuly 24, 2017