Two people stand on a grassy hillside in the King Range Wilderness, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Mtn. Bike Rider on the Bizz Johnson Trail King Range National Conservation Area Poppy Three Pump Jacks, Midway-Sunset Oilfield
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Employee Profile

Herrick "Rick" Hanks

Monument Manager
California Coastal National Monument

Herrick (“Rick”) E. Hanks is the manager of the California Coastal National Monument (CCNM), arguably the nation’s most unique national monument, consisting of more than 20,000 rocks and small islands located above mean high tide and off of the 1,100 miles of the California coastline. In his role as the first CCNM manager, Rick is developing and coordinating a wide variety of partners and stewards to share in the management on the monument.  Ranging from other federal agencies to non-profit organizations along the entire California coast, he is bringing together "a partnership in protecting unique Calaifornia coastal resources."

Rick has more than 40 years of experience in natural and cultural resources management; many of the positions were “firsts.”  Besides being the first CCNM manager, Rick began his career with BLM in May 1973 in Riverside, California, as the BLM’s first district archaeologist and then served as the first lead archaeologist for the California Desert Plan staff.  He spent four years in Washington, D.C., as BLM’s first cultural resource program lead. 

Rick then served for 15 years as a BLM line-manager. He was the area manager in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from 1980-1989; Susanville district manager in northeastern California and northwestern Nevada from 1989-1995; from 1995-2000, Rick was on-loan to California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly), as the director of the equity leadership program, a partnership between BLM, Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Cal Poly dealing with outreach and recruitment into the natural resource fields.

In addition to his BLM career, Rick worked for several years as a project archaeologist for the California Department of Parks and Recreation; taught anthropology and archaeology at California State University-Northridge, Ventura College, and Lassen College, as well as graduate courses in natural resources management at Cal Poly; ran the archaeological research unit at the University of California at Riverside; and served on several boards and held offices on several professional and community organizations.  Rick is also the recipient of the United States Department of the Interior’s Superior Service Award, the BLM’s Arthur Zimmerman Award for exceptional service, and the BLM’s Outstanding Manager of the Year Award for recreation management.

Rick received a bachelor of arts degree in 1968 and a masters degree in 1971, both in anthropology, from California State University-Northridge. 

Although born on Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland, Rick has always considered himself a Californian.  His father, a native Californian, was a career Navy pilot so his family moved frequently between California, and the East and Gulf Coasts.   From K-12 grades, Rick attended over a dozen different schools. 

Rick and Julie, his wife of 39 years, live in Watsonville, California.  They have two grown children and two grandchildren.

Rick Hanks at Cuffy Cove near Elk, California

"The California Coastal National Monument is BLM's unrecognized 'string of pearls,' with its long-term value to BLM, California and future generations only beginning to be discovered."