Rodger E. Schmitt, CPRP, is the former Director of the National Recreation Program, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, and previously served as the Associate District Manager, Boise District Office, Boise, ID, (1989-1997); Deputy Assistant Director, President's Commission for American Outdoors (1985-1987); Park Manager, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Las Vegas, NV (1980 - 1984), and Assistant Park Manager, Corps of Engineers, New Hogan Lake, Valley Springs, CA (1976-80). He also worked in recreation related positions with the U.S. Forest Service and the Sacramento County Parks and Recreation Department.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Humboldt State University (1966) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Resources, with "Honors" from Sacramento State University (1972).
Rodger served as a Member, Board of Trustees, National Recreation and Park Association (1995 - Present); Member, NRPA Governance Task Force (1999 - 2001); Member, Board of Directors, National Society for Park Resources (1988 - Present); President, National Society for Park Resources (1996 - 1998); Member, Pacific Northwest Regional Council of the National Recreation and Park Association (1992 - 1997). He received the William Penn Mott, Jr. Award for Leadership Excellence (2001), the Sustained Superior Achievement Award from the Department of the Interior (1995), and other Bureau of Land Management achievement awards.
Rodger was a key leader in the Bureau of Land Management's movement to expand recreation management of increasing outdoor recreation use of its vast federal lands. Shifting the culture of an agency which traditionally has concentrated on grazing, timber and mining interests rather than outdoor recreation use is challenging, but BLM has moved a long way in this direction. As BLM's Director of Recreation, Rodger was in the forefront of these efforts. In recognition of his career contributions he was recipient of the prestigious U.S. Department of Interior Superior Service Honors Award in 1995 for superior service to the Department of the Interior. Throughout his career, his professional excellence was repeatedly recognized through his receipt of numerous Agency and Department of the Interior awards. In 2001 he was awarded the William Penn Mott, Jr. Award for Excellence by the National Society for Park Resources for his lifetime contributions to the parks and recreation profession.
Among his other key roles in the profession, he was a senior staff member for the influential President's Commission on Americans Outdoors, which provided momentum for several outdoor recreation initiatives, most notably the greenways movement, and where he was the primary author of several chapters in the final Commission report. And he led the Bureau of Land Management to develop an outdoor recreation strategy in 1987 as the team leader for Recreation 2000: A Strategic Plan. This document was the first ever for the Agency in addressing the future of recreation management for its 270 million acres of public land.
Since his retirement from the Bureau of Land Management in 2003, Rodger has continued his involvement in Parks, Recreation and related programs. He currently serves on: 1) the Board of Directors of the non-profit Public Lands Interpretive Association, a parent organization for natural history associations; 2) the Fort Worden State Park and Conference Center Advisory Committee; 3) the Pacific NW Advisory Board for the non-profit organization Wilderness Inquiry, an outfitter and guide organization offering backcountry trips to all persons, specializing in persons with disabilities; and 4) the Jefferson Land Trust Board of Directors, a non-profit organization providing for land and habitat conservation throughout Jefferson County, WA, serving as its Secretary/Treasurer.