WASHINGTON -- Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze announced today that he has selected three veteran land managers to serve in state director positions in New Mexico, Nevada and California.
Jerome (Jerry) Perez will take over the position of BLM California State Director. Perez currently serves as State Director for the BLM's Oregon/Washington Office. He replaces Jim Kenna, who recently announced his retirement. Perez will begin his new duties in the coming weeks.
"Jerry has broad experience in natural resource management both with the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service." Kornze said. "He has a deep understanding of what it takes to balance public land uses like recreation, energy development, and the protection of wildlife habitat. I look forward to having him in this critical leadership position."
As the California State Director, Perez will oversee the management of 15.2 million acres of public lands, nearly 15 percent of the state's land area, and 1.6 million acres in northwestern Nevada. BLM California also administers 47 million acres of subsurface mineral estate underlying federal surface land, 2.5 million acres underlying privately owned land, and 592,000 acres of Native American tribal land where BLM has trust responsibility for mineral operations.
Perez brings significant experience to his new position. He has served as the BLM Oregon/Washington State Director since 2012 and has also worked for the U.S. Forest Service in a number of positions that include Deputy Regional Forester for the Intermountain Region in Utah; Forest Supervisor on the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky; Deputy Forest Supervisor for the Stanislaus National Forest in California; and National Litigation Coordinator in the U.S. Forest Service Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Perez graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor's degree in Forest Resource Management. He received his law degree from The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. Perez also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana, Africa, where he met his wife Rita.