The Bureau of Land Management has named Chris Heppe as the new district manager for Central California, which covers Lake County.
Heppe grew up playing in the streams and forests of the Sierra Nevada foothills in Nevada City. It was his love of water, wildlife and their habitat that led him to a lifelong career in federal service in remote corners of the world.
But Heppe’s journey has now brought him home as the new district manager for the Bureau of Land Management Central California based in El Dorado Hills.
“It is an immense privilege to be stewards of such a diverse landscape and a cross-section of California that is enjoyed and used in a variety of ways,” says Heppe. “I look forward to supporting the managers, staff and specialists at BLM who are fantastic at managing the popularity of our recreation areas, while building partnerships with other agencies and communities. Together we can leverage resources and improve the work done in the field. »
The Central District of California comprises approximately 2.2 million acres of BLM-managed public lands stretching from the Pacific Ocean through the Central Valley through the Sierra Nevada and Eastern Sierra to the border between the California and Nevada.
It includes five BLM field offices – Bakersfield, Bishop, Central Coast, Mother Lode and Ukiah, which includes Lake County – as well as four national monuments, including Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. The district also includes three wild and scenic rivers, two national trails and a national scenic area scattered across 42 counties.
Two weeks after graduating with a degree in biological sciences from the University of California, Davis, Heppe began his federal service as a Peace Corps volunteer planting trees as living fences that provide habitat, fodder and pest control. erosion in Paraguay.
He then hooted for spotted owls as a seasonal wildlife technician in the Tahoe National Forest, before earning a master’s degree in environmental management from the University of San Francisco.
Heppe went to work for the Environmental Protection Agency in their regional office reviewing hazardous waste management permits, then moved on to the Water Management Division administering grants to states to improve quality water and watershed health.
Watershed restoration then took him to Redwood National Park as a natural resources program manager and to BLM as manager of Headwaters Forest Reserve.
Heppe most recently served as Deputy Field Manager for the BLM Arcata field office, where he oversaw a variety of natural and cultural resource programs in partnership with local communities.
Heppe succeeds Este Stifel, who retired from federal service last year.
When he’s not in the office, Heppe enjoys spending time with family, hiking and shooting hoops down the driveway.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of underground mining properties across the country.