Melanie Barnes

Official photo of Melanie Barnes, BLM New Mexico State Director.

BLM New Mexico State Director

Melanie Barnes is the State Director for the Bureau of Land Management in New Mexico, where she oversees the management of 13.5 million acres of public lands and 42 million acres of federal mineral estate in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas.

She was previously the Deputy State Director for Land and Resources for BLM New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas, and has also served as the acting Deputy Assistant Director for Resources and Planning with BLM Headquarters. In her 17 years with the BLM, she has also held positions as the Branch Chief of Resources, an acting Assistant Field Manager, a state Planning and Environmental Specialist, a field office Surface Protection Specialist, and a Biological Science Technician. 

Melanie received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Reed College and spent several years prior to graduate school as a field and laboratory technician in Oregon, Idaho, California, Florida, and Arizona before attending the University of New Mexico where she received a Ph.D. in biology with a focus on plant population biology.