For Release: October 2, 2008
Contact: John Dearing 916-978-4622 or Jan Bedrosian 916-978-4616
Tom Pogacnik Selected as Deputy State Director for Natural Resources Division
Tom Pogacnik, a twenty-six year career government employee, has been selected as the deputy state director for the natural resources division for the Bureau of Land Management in California.
“Tom has been acting as the deputy for the past ten months,” said BLM-California State Director Mike Pool, “and has proven to be an effective leader and communicator in his acting role. We have great faith in his ability to continue to contribute to BLM’s leadership team in the deputy state director position,” Pool stated.
An Ohio State graduate with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, Pogacnik left his native Ohio for Montana to be a biologist for the U.S. Forest Service. He worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rangeland Insect Laboratory in Bozeman, Montana, while completing his master’s degree in rangeland ecology at Montana State University. After graduation, he came to work for BLM as a rangeland conservationist in Tonopah, NV. Most of the grazing allotments under his responsibility also supported large herds of wild horses and burros. When the field office wild horse and burro specialist moved, he picked up the duties "temporarily." The temporary assignment turned out to be twenty-one years.
Throughout his career, Pogacnik has held increasingly responsible positions. He was the Nevada wild horse and burro program manager, the senior wild horse and burro specialist for BLM’s national program office, the chief of the national wild horse and burro program, and operations manager for the national program. He came to California in 2002 as the state wild horse and burro program lead. He was the recipient of the Take Pride in America National Award in 2007 for his outstanding contributions to the wild horse and burro program.
Pogacnik was selected as the assistant deputy state director for natural resources in January 2008, assuming full responsibility for the division as the acting deputy state director when the deputy retired. He has a staff of 23 in the state office and 4 others scattered throughout California that administer the natural resources on 15 million acres of public lands, about 15 percent of the total acreage. BLM California also manages 1.6 million acres in northwestern Nevada for cattle grazing, wild horses, recreation and wildlife habitat
California State Office, 2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA