The Bureau of Land Management has appointed Chris Heppe as the new director of the Central California District, which covers Lake County.
Heppe grew up playing in the streams and forests of the Sierra Nevada foothills in Nevada City. It is his love of water, wildlife and their habitat that has led to a lifelong career in federal service in remote corners of the world.
But Heppe’s path has now brought him home as the new district manager of the El Dorado Hills-based Bureau of Land Management Central California.
“It is an immense privilege to be the steward of such a diverse landscape and spectacular cross section of California that is appreciated and used in so many ways,” Heppe says. “I look forward to supporting the managers, staff and specialists at BLM who are fantastic at managing the popularity of our recreation areas, while also partnering with other agencies and communities. Together, we can leverage resources and improve the work being done on the ground. ”
The Central California District comprises approximately 2.2 million acres of public land managed by BLM stretching from the Pacific Ocean through the Central Valley through the Sierra Nevada and Eastern Sierra to the California border. 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 the 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 biological science degree from the University of California at Davis, Heppe began his federal service as a Peace Corps volunteer by planting trees as living fences that provide habitat, fodder, and control. erosion in Paraguay.
He then booed 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 its regional office reviewing permits for hazardous waste management, then moved to the Water Management Division administering grants to states to improve water quality and the health of watersheds.
Watershed restoration then took him to Redwood National Park as a natural resources program manager and to BLM as manager of the Headwaters Forest Reserve.
Heppe most recently served as Deputy Field Director for BLM Arcata’s 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 not in the office, Heppe enjoys spending time with family, hiking, and hauling baskets down the aisle.
The BLM manages over 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of underground mining estate across the country.