BLM California welcomes new Associate State Director and State Fire Management Officer to leadership team


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Photos of Federica Lee and Peter Kelley

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) welcomes Federica Lee as the new Associate State Director, and Peter Kelly as the State Fire Management Officer in California. These two additions to the BLM state leadership team bring with them more than 50 years of combined public service and an unwavering dedication to BLM’s mission for responsibly managing public lands for current and future generations.

Lee, a California native, brings with her more than 36 years of public service. Kelly, originally from Minetto, New York, has been a seasoned fire management professional for over 25 years. Lee began her new role on March 6. Kelly started his new position Feb. 1.

“We are pleased to have Federica and Peter join our BLM California leadership team,” said Karen Mouritsen, State Director for BLM California. “Federica consistently provides positive and valuable insight into state-wide leadership discussions, and Peter has demonstrated exceptional leadership and a dedication for fire prevention and firefighter safety in California for nearly 20 years.”

Lee started her career in Human Resources with the Army Corps of Engineers before moving to BLM California in 1998 as a Human Resources Officer. In 2006, she accepted a position as the Deputy State Director for Support Services for the agency and served as Acting Associate State Director from 2018 to 2022.  Lee is an avid runner and enjoys traveling and being outside with her husband and two children.

As the BLM’s associate state director, Lee will lead a team that administers 15 million acres of public lands and 42 million acres of minerals and energy resources in California, as well as 1.6 million surface acres in northwestern Nevada. BLM public lands extend across coastal areas, rangelands, forests, high mountains and deserts making California one of the most diverse states in the nation.

Kelly started his career in the Army as an infantryman, where he earned the Army Expeditional Medal. He received his B.S. in Natural Resource Management and Forestry from the State University of New York’s School of Environmental Science and Forestry. His firefighting career started in 1997 when he worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a fire engine crew, later accepting a permanent position developing a fire management program in the Pine Barrens in Long Island, NY. In 2004, he accepted the Fire Management Officer position in Los Banos, CA at the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Since 2019, Kelly has served as Deputy Regional Fire Management Coordinator at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Kelly served as Chair to the California Wildland Coordinating Group, Operations Committee from 2020-2021, and remains an active member.

In his new position as State Fire Management Officer, Peter Kelly will be responsible for overseeing fire operations on 16 million acres that are directly protected by BLM California. He will lead the fire management program throughout California which conducts a broad range of actions to protect communities, recreation areas, wildlife habitat and other resources, in addition to conducting fire prevention operations.

Kelly is supported by his wife, two daughters, and two dogs in central California along the Tuolumne River. In their spare time, they enjoy fishing, hiking, and looking for new adventures together.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.