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High Plains District Office
Release Date: 12/20/11
Contacts: Lesley A. Collins    

Al Elser Named Assistant District Manager for Solid Minerals in the High Plains District:
Mike Karbs Retires after 34 years with BLM

Al Elser has been selected as the new Bureau of Land Management (BLM) assistant district manager (ADM) for solid minerals in the High Plains District. He reports for duty Dec. 19.

New ADM for Solid Minerals Al Elser
New ADM for 
Solid Minerals Al Elser

“Al's extensive background in the geosciences including oil and gas, academia, kaolin mining industry, and his management experience in the environmental industry will be an excellent addition to our leadership team and Wyoming organization,” noted High Plains District Manager Stephanie Connolly.

Elser comes to the High Plains District from the Wyoming State Office Reservoir Management Group where he was a senior geologist. He has acted as the primary acting for the chief of the Reservoir Management Group for the past two years and has coauthored reasonable foreseeable development scenarios (oil and gas, and geothermal) for most of the Wyoming field offices as well as offices in Colorado, and North and South Dakota.

Elser has always had an interest in coal and studied coal as it related to kaolin development while at Georgia State. He has most recently been involved in a coalbed methanogenesis project with the High Plains District and Reservoir Management Group.

He received his doctorate in chemistry with a concentration in geochemistry from the Georgia State University. He also has a master and bachelor of science degree in geology.

According to Elser, “I’m excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the High Plains District Office and the solid minerals group. It’s a real honor to be asked to be part of the vital role that the Powder River Basin coal plays in our nation’s energy sector. I’m looking forward to working with the great staff in solid minerals and also working with the public and local governments.”

Elser is replacing Mike Karbs who is retiring this month. Karbs was ADM for the Solid Minerals Division for over 20 years. After 34 years with the BLM, including time in BLM offices in Cheyenne and Rawlins, he is retiring on Dec. 31.

Karbs started when the federal government “decertified” the Powder River Basin (PRB). Throughout his career, he oversaw 5 billion tons of PRB coal that was sold to mining companies.

Karbs said he was proud to help manage the PRB coal resources. “I think it’s valuable to the country,” he said. “Twenty percent of electricity produced, one in five houses and businesses, get their electricity from Campbell County coal.”

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.

High Plains District Office   2987 Prospector Dr.      Casper, WY 82604  

Last updated: 12-20-2011