Abbey worked for more than 32 years with state and federal land management agencies before retiring from the federal government in July 2005. Most recently, he served as BLM's Nevada State Director. Upon learning of Abbey's nomination, BRC polled many of its members and supporters who had worked with him over the years. "With few exceptions, the reports we are getting have been positive," said Brian Hawthorne, BRC's Public Lands Policy Director. "Abbey is generally known of as a good manager, and one who understands the importance of public lands in providing diverse recreation for the American public."