Acting Associate State Director
California State Office
John Mehlhoff brings a broad range of experience in public land management to his new position as acting associate state director in California, having served at every level of the BLM (field, district, state, Washington, D.C.). In his acting capacity, he holds the number two leadership position for BLM-California, behind Jim Abbott who is the acting state director. Together, they oversee 15.1 million acres of public lands in California and another 1.5 million in northwestern Nevada, and a workforce of more than 900 employees in three districts and 15 field offices.
Raised on the family homestead in North Dakota, John earned a degree in petroleum engineering from Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology (Montana Tech). He is a career veteran of BLM, with more than 25 years of service. In his position as field manager for the BLM office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he has management responsibility for the three state region of Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. In 2006, he was detailed as the acting associate state director in Utah, later that year transitioning into the same position in Alaska. Other job postings include numerous national project teams; field manager in Colorado; legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator under the Congressional Fellowship program; staff assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals; program lead to BLM’s assistant director of energy and minerals in Washington, D.C.; Platte River Field Office petroleum engineer, Wyoming; and Montana State Office petroleum engineer.
Mehlhoff says of his opportunity to serve as California’s associate state director, “This is an extremely fortunate opportunity. I have had excellent assignments in the past, but California has some of the most diverse and challenging issues of anywhere in the country. This will certainly round out my land management experiences.”
John is married to another petroleum engineer, Suzanne, and they have two daughters, Jessa, 21, and Jade, 19. He enjoys fly fishing, golf, and hunting in his free time. Each fall he makes a pilgrimage back to North Dakota to hunt and fish with his brothers.