Michelle “Shelly” Lynch named new BLM California Desert District Manager

Portrait of Shelly Lynch

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – Michelle “Shelly” Lynch has been selected District Manager for the Bureau of Land Management California Desert District in Palm Springs. In this position, she will be responsible for 11 million-acres of public lands spanning nine counties and roughly 200 employees spread across five field offices. Shelly replaces Andrew Archuleta who is now the BLM State Director in Wyoming. 

“I am pleased to welcome Shelly into this new role where her knowledge of public lands, planning, and recreation will be utilized and benefit the communities and stakeholders we serve,” said BLM California State Director Karen Mouritsen. 

Lynch brings more than 27 years of state-and federal-service to the position and most recently served as the Branch Chief for Lands, Planning, and Recreation at the BLM California State Office in Sacramento, where she supervised state program leads for recreation, National Environmental Policy Act and planning, rights-of-way, land acquisitions, land withdrawals and sales. 

“I am excited to take on this new leadership role with the California Desert District, which is one of the most unique and complex districts within the BLM,” said Lynch. “Encompassing three national monuments, renewable energy development, nationally recognized recreational opportunities, and critical habitat for endangered and protected species, I look forward to working alongside the Tribes and stakeholders on the challenges ahead.” 

Prior to the BLM, Lynch was with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers where she worked as the Regulatory South Coast Branch Chief of the Los Angeles District. She also worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and has 12 years state government experience, including serving as a Regional Biologist and Environmental Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Transportation. Lynch also has experience in the private sector, where she managed the natural resources department for a private engineering firm.

Lynch graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife Management and holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. When not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, camping, paddle boarding, and kayaking.

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.

Publication Date


Bureau of Land Management

District/Field Office

California Desert District Office


Kate Miyamoto