Bureau of Land Management welcomes two new members to leadership team in California
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) welcomes Erica St. Michel as the new Deputy State Director, Communications and Mark Chatterton as the new Deputy State Director, Energy and Minerals 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.
“I am thrilled to have Erica and Mark join our BLM California leadership team,” said Karen Mouritsen, State Director for BLM California. “Erica is a trusted and highly valued communications leader that will bring a new perspective to our organization’s outreach work, while Mark’s expertise and guidance will be critical as we work to fulfill our mission to manage important natural resources on public lands.”
Chatterton comes to BLM California’s leadership team with nearly 42 years of public service experience, first serving as a Forestry Technician with the U.S. Forest Service collecting fees at campgrounds in 1977. Chatterton joined the BLM in 1988, holding a variety of positions over nearly 30 years, including geologist, area manager, and assistant district manager in southern Nevada, as well as coordinator for training mineral examiners and mine inspectors. He returned to California in 2014 as Branch Chief of Energy and Minerals, rising to serve as the Associate Deputy State Director, Energy and Minerals prior to his new appointment.
In his new position as Deputy State Director, Energy and Minerals, Chatterton is responsible for overseeing the management of oil, gas and geothermal resources on BLM lands in California. He also oversees hard rock mining for metallic and industrial minerals and programs responsible for managing hazardous materials and abandoned mine lands.
Chatterton has a bachelor’s in geology (with a minor in botany) and a master’s in outdoor recreation from Brigham Young University. He completed additional post-graduate studies in arid land hydrology and range management at Oregon State University. Chatterton has been a Certified Mineral Examiner since 1991 and became a Certified Review Mineral Examiner in 2000.
St. Michel began her public service career with the National Institutes of Health before transferring to the BLM in 2012 and later becoming the Congressional and Legislative Liaison in 2014, a position she held prior to her new appointment. St. Michel has earned a bachelor’s in international studies from American University and has experience working with U.S. Ambassadors and international development organizations.
As the BLM’s Deputy State Director for Communications in California, St. Michel is responsible for leading internal and external outreach efforts, working with media, stakeholders, partners and Congress to effectively communicate BLM’s mission and its work.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’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. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $111 billion in economic output across the country in fiscal year 2019—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 498,000 jobs.