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BLM Wyoming Establishes Virtual Renewable Energy Coordination Office

By Beverly Gorny, Public Affairs Specialist, Renewable Energy Coordination Office

(L-R) Delissa Bixler, Tom Lahti and Beverly Gorny.
(L-R) Delissa Bixler, Tom Lahti and Beverly Gorny standing in the Wyoming Wind.
Patrick Lionberger.
Patrick Lionberger.
Martha Hemphill.
Martha Hemphill.
Kathy Miller.
Kathy Miller.
Crystal Hoyt.
Crystal Hoyt.
Amy Ruhs.
Amy Ruhs.
The Wyoming is home to wide open spaces, beautiful blue skies and abundant outdoor opportunities. Wyoming is also known for its ever-present and persistent wind. To meet the President’s vision to capture renewable energy and take advantage of this abundant resource, BLM Wyoming has established a Renewable Energy Coordination Office. Though “office” implies a singular location, this is a virtual office, staffed with individuals in the areas closest to likely wind energy development sites.

An estimated 43 percent of the public lands in Wyoming have wind energy development potential. The renewable energy team is strategically located to focus resources on processing wind energy right-of-way applications.

The Wyoming Renewable Energy Coordination Office has a staff of 11 permanent employees which includes the chief, a public affairs specialist, and a planning and environmental coordinator located in Cheyenne; a project manager, realty specialist, wildlife biologist and archaeologist located in both Rawlins and Rock Springs; and a project assistant located in Rock Springs.


The RECO chief is Tom Lahti. Lahti brings over three decades of federal experience working with visual resource management and reclamation, and is responsible for overall guidance and leadership of the RECO team.

The planning and environmental coordinator is Delissa Bixler. Bixler, formerly a NEPA attorney on oil and gas issues with Holland and Hart, is responsible for ensuring that renewable energy development is performed in accordance with NEPA.

With over three decades of public affairs experience in the private and public sector, Beverly Gorny is responsible for keeping the public, other agencies and industries informed about RECO.


Terese Engles (not pictured), RECO project manager, brings over a decade of experience in project management in government and private industry. She has managed an environmental division and projects including environmental compliance for oil and gas companies in Chad, Cameroon and Russia.

Changing hats in the Rawlins Field Office, Patrick Lionberger joins the team with over four years of experience as a fisheries biologist in Wyoming. He has performed fisheries and aquatic research for the Colorado Division of Wildlife in Grand Junction, and received his master’s degree from the University of Wyoming.

Bringing her 35 years of experience from throughout the west and the great basin, Martha Hemphill is the Rawlins RECO archaeologist. Hemphill has worked in the public and private sector, and holds a master’s and doctorate degree from Washington State University.

Rock Springs

Archaeologist Kathy Miller comes to Wyoming after serving seven years as a federal agency contact for a Tlingit Tribe in Alaska on cultural resources and repatriation.  Kathy holds a master's degree from Colorado State University.

Crystal Hoyt has eight years of BLM experience in Rock Springs, most recently as a land law examiner. This Rock Springs native has worked primarily in oil and gas but has also worked with transmission line rights-of-way.

Amy Ruhs came to Wyoming after a decade of working in the range program in Nevada and Colorado. She holds a degree in range ecology watershed management.

Both the project manager and wildlife biologist positions are vacant. The position of project manager is in the process of being filled and the wildlife biologist position will be filled in spring of 2010. Two energy program assistants have been helping until a permanent position is established.

Last updated: 04-22-2010