FARMINGTON, NM – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) New Mexico has announced the appointment of Al Elser as the Farmington District Manager. Elser was sworn in to his position at a ceremony in Farmington on Dec. 11, 2019 by BLM New Mexico State Director Tim Spisak.
“I am so pleased that we were able to attract Al back West, closer to his family and in a position where I know he can have a positive impact,” said Spisak, referring to Elser who is a native of Colorado. “We look forward to his leadership as we continue to work with Tribes and other government entities, as well as the communities within the Farmington District boundaries, to manage our public lands.”
As the Farmington District Manager, Elser will oversee 150 employees, 2 million acres of public lands, and 7 million acres of Federal oil, natural gas, and minerals managed for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Farmington District includes both the Farmington and Taos Field offices. In managing the lands and mineral resources in the district, the BLM is guided by principles of multiple use and sustained yield.
Prior to Elser’s appointment, he served at the BLM Headquarters Office in Washington, DC as the Deputy Division Chief for Solid Minerals, beginning in January 2015. From January to December 2018, and again from March to November 2019, Elser served as the Acting Division Chief for Solid Minerals.
Prior to joining the national office, he served as the Assistant District Manager/Chief of the Solid Minerals Group for BLM’s Wyoming High Plains District Office, where he managed the BLM’s coal resources in the Powder River Basin. While in Casper, Elser also served as Senior Geologist for the BLM Wyoming State Office Oil & Gas Reservoir Management Group. He began his BLM career as an Oil and Gas Inspection and Enforcement Officer for the Rawlins, Wyoming Field Office. Elser has also worked in private industry, performing site assessments and environmental remediation in South Dakota and Texas.
Elser received his Master of Science in Geology and his doctorate in chemistry with a concentration in geochemistry from the Georgia State University. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology from the University of Wyoming.
Elser replaces Victoria Barr, who accepted the position as the Branch Chief of Program Operations at the BLM National Operations Center in Denver, CO.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.