Today, Mary Jo Rugwell was sworn in as Wyoming state director of the Bureau of Land Management. Deputy Director of Operations Steve Ellis traveled to Cheyenne from Washington D.C. to conduct the ceremony.
Rugwell is the first Wyoming native and female to serve as the Wyoming state director. She is not only familiar with the valuable role Wyoming plays in the west and throughout the nation, but she also recognizes the importance of a career in public service.
“I am proud to be part of an agency that works hard on behalf of the American public,” said Rugwell. “Throughout my career, I have worked alongside ranchers, helped facilitate world-class recreation and have been a part of communities that work together to come up with positive strategies in how we manage our natural resources. Our public lands are a treasure and as BLM Wyoming State Director, I will work hard to ensure we continue to manage these areas responsibly and effectively.”
Rugwell will oversee the management of 17.5 million surface acres of public lands and more than 40 million acres of federal sub-surface mineral estate. She’ll be responsible for more than 600 permanent staff and 150 seasonal employees who help manage a myriad of public land uses and resources, including energy development, National Historic Trails, outdoor recreation and wild horses and burros.
Rugwell served as acting state director since January 2015 and before that, she was the BLM Wyoming associate state director for over two years. Rugwell came to Wyoming in August 2012 from Nevada, where she had worked as district manager for the Southern Nevada District Office since 2008. She previously served in field manager capacities for the Kemmerer Field Office in Wyoming and the Carlsbad Field Office in New Mexico.