Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument
Jim Foote grew up in Greenfield, Massachusetts, on the eastern edge of the Berkshires, a bucolic tourist destination for nature lovers in western Massachusetts.
But this nature lover decided to leave the green, green grass of home to venture west to attend Utah State University, graduating in 1973 with a degree in outdoor recreation. He returned home for a while before embarking west once again to "escape what had become an ambiguous future" to work for a summer at the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park. He eventually headed to Butte, Montana to take his first seasonal BLM job.
He decided to go back to school at Montana State University to study photography, earning his second bachelor's degree in 1985. He continued to work seasonal jobs for BLM, but after graduation, worked five successive seasons for the National Park Service. After that, he attended the seasonal law enforcement academy in Santa Rosa. Overall, he worked seven seasonal positions with BLM (wilderness inventory in Montana and Arizona, campground manager at Holter Lake, river ranger on the Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River, fire crew at Garnet Ghost Town); five seasonal positions with the National Park Service (park ranger at Curecanti National Recreation Area for three successive seasons, museum aide at Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico, law enforcement ranger at Lake Mead); one seasonal position with U.S. Forest Service (forestry technician at a forest pest management unit at the University of New Hampshire).
He was hired, this time permanently, as a law enforcement ranger at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (The Arch) in St. Louis, MO. While there, he became aware of several positions in BLM's California Desert District and applied. He spent 8 1/2 years as the outdoor recreation planner in the Needles Field Office and 8 1/2 years as outdoor recreation planner in the Palm Springs Field Office. He became the interim monument manager in February 2006 and the permanent monument manager in November 2008.
Jim has been with the government for almost 25 years, 23 of that with BLM and almost 20 years in the California Desert District.