Stevens to head Junction BLM office

The woman who has been in charge of McInnis Canyons and Dominguez-Escalante national conservation areas in western Colorado is now the permanent manager of the Grand Junction Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management.

Katie Stevens, 32, has served since early January as interim manager, taking over after Catherine Robertson retired after more than 20 years. She took over as head of the McInnis Canyons area four years ago and then took charge of the Dominguez-Escalante area when it was established.

Already a 12-year veteran of the BLM, Stevens takes over as the Grand Junction office is completing its resource management plan for the 1 million surface acres it administers in western Colorado. The plan also includes more than 200,000 acres for which the BLM manages the mineral rights.

Her appointment is “a great move,” Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President Diane Schwenke said, noting that the chamber had hoped the BLM would have looked to someone such as Stevens “who is familiar with the community at this critical time for the field office.”

The Grand Junction office “is the benchmark for community stewardship and getting community input,” Stevens said on Wednesday. “That’s something I definitely want to uphold and maintain.”

She will be helped by being familiar with the people who will comment on the management plan, Stevens said.

Stevens’ “extensive knowledge in resource management and her strong connection with the community will be an asset to the Grand Junction Field Office. We are fortunate to have her on our team and excited about her new role,” said Jim Cagney, BLM Colorado Northwest District manager.

The Western Colorado Congress “is looking forward” to working with Stevens, energy coordinator Frank Smith said. “She has demonstrated throughout her career in Grand Junction that she is a capable resource manager, does well in front of crowds and understands the importance of national conservation areas.”

He urged Stevens not to elevate extractive industries over conservation, public health and quiet recreation.

Stevens is a Montana native who worked for eight years in the Montana State Office on land-use planning, environmental compliance, energy, and sage-grouse issues before arriving in Grand Junction.

She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Montana State University. Her professional interests include partnerships, community stewardship, and collaborative planning. Outside of work, she likes to fly fish, read, and camp and hike with her husband and dogs.


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