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Release Date: 01/22/14
Contacts: Steven Hall, BLM Colorado Communications Director: 303.239.3672    

BLM Colorado announces state office leadership changes (01-22-14)


BLM Colorado’s John Mehlhoff to join the Office of Natural Resources Revenue;
BLM National Operations Center Director Ruth Welch to serve as Acting State Director

LAKEWOOD – BLM Colorado Associate State Director and Acting State Director John Mehlhoff has accepted the position of Program Director of Coordination, Enforcement, Valuation and Appeals with the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR). Mehlhoff will assume his new position in early February.

“The opportunity to become a senior executive with ONRR is an opportunity that comes around once in a lifetime,” said Mehlhoff. “My career in the BLM has been rewarding and fun, especially the last four months serving as Acting State Director. It has truly been an honor to lead an organization like BLM Colorado which is as complex a natural resource challenge as it gets.”

Mehlhoff has more than 29 years of BLM service, in positions ranging from his current position of Associate State Director to White River and Oklahoma Field Manager assignments, Congressional Fellow and Petroleum Engineer.

BLM National Operations Center Director Ruth Welch will serve as BLM Colorado Acting State Director after Mehlhoff’s departure. Welch has served as the NOC Director since 2012. The Colorado native joined the Office of Surface Mining in 1989 and the BLM in 1993. Previous BLM positions include management analyst, Assistant Field Manager, Deputy State Director, Washington Office Division Chief, Associate State Director and Acting State Director for Eastern States.

“I am looking forward to this opportunity to serve the people of Colorado and the U.S. as the Acting Colorado State Director,” Welch said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the wonderful people at the NOC as well as the Colorado State Office, and the many constituents the BLM has throughout the state.”

Welch will begin her assignment as Acting State Director in early February. 

Ruth Welch Photo

John Mehlhoff Photo

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

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Last updated: 01-22-2014