Christina Welch is the Acting Field Manager for the El Centro Field Office. In this position she sets priorities for the field office and then encourages and supports the office staff in achieving them.
She is a Civil Engineer by training with a B.S. from San Diego State University. Christina worked with a private engineering firm in San Diego supporting the construction industry for awhile but felt that she would rather work in natural resources. She began her federal career working with the Forest Service in Oregon. She spent 20 years working in three national forests in the fields of engineering, lands, minerals, recreation, archaeology and Cadastral surveying.
Christina came to the Bureau of Land Management 4 years ago. Although she is detailed to the "...exciting and challenging office in El Centro..." her permanent assignment is in the Central Oregon Resource Area of the Prineville District. Which she tells us is "...a beautiful piece of public land."
She enjoys her work with the BLM and tells us, "I find working in controversial arenas, with passionate and polarized publics, and helping them come to consensus to be wildly satisfying. This, however, has to be followed by a quiet night with a good book and a big bowl of popcorn, or a day working in the garden."
In keeping with what she has told us she enjoys professionally, Christina counts her intercession on behalf of BLM with an issue surrounding Little Canyon Mountain in Oregon as one of her successes. The mountain was a fire threat to towns lying at its lower edges and was strewn with tons of trash. Through hard work and diligence and working "...among people with very differing values and opinions..." acceptable decisions were reached that provided for an agreeable solution to the issue.
When Christina isn't de-compressing in the garden or with a book she enjoys weaving, hiking, and travel. She's been all through Mexico, Guatemala, many U.S. states, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Italy and Tahiti. And in Tahiti she became stranded for a week with no money!!
Christina lives in Powell Butte, Oregon with her husband Mike McCullough and their two daughters, Rachel who is 19 and Megan who is 15.
With all of this though, Christina has a very definite bottom line, "It is all about people - whether it is the public that is interested in the management of their public lands, or it is the dedicated BLM employees who make it all happen."