CARSON CITY — Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze announced Wednesday that he has selected John Ruhs as the agency’s new Nevada state director. Ruhs will report to the BLM Nevada state office in Reno later this fall.
Ruhs currently serves as the BLM eastern states director. He will lead the management of 48 million acres of public land in Nevada.
He served a four-month stint as acting state director in Nevada earlier this year.
Ruhs succeeds Amy Lueders, who will serve as the BLM New Mexico state director overseeing more than 13.4 million acres of public lands and 26 million acres of federal mineral resources in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
Lueders had served as the BLM Nevada state director since 2010 and was the Nevada associate state director from 2004 to 2010. She has most recently been on detail to the BLM’s Washington, D.C., office overseeing the agency’s greater sage grouse planning effort as the acting assistant director for renewable resources and planning.
She served as state director during the failed federal effort to round up cattle belonging to Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy over a grazing fee dispute. The dispute turned into a standoff between federal law enforcement and Bundy and his supporters in April of 2014 before Bundy’s cattle were returned and the roundup was halted.
A native of Iowa and a Marine Corps veteran, Ruhs has worked in numerous positions throughout his career, including previous stops in Nevada where he held the positions of wild horse and burro specialist, fire management officer in Winnemucca, and district manager in Ely.
“John brings a great breadth of experience with him, and a real commitment to collaboration,” Kornze said. “I look forward to having him in this key leadership position.”
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., called Ruhs “a hardworking and honest broker who has resolved a variety of long-standing disputes in Nevada during his short time as interim state director.”
Heller said that while he and Ruhs might not agree on every issue, “his previous public service in Nevada coupled with his willingness to get personally involved in even the most difficult disputes makes him well-suited to serve as state director.”
U.S. Sen Harry Reid, D-Nev., said, “John Ruhs has deep Nevada roots and great respect for the Silver State, and I congratulate him on this new, much-deserved appointment. He has done terrific work with the BLM in positions throughout the country, and I know he will continue to do a great job for Nevada.”
Reid also thanked Lueders for her service to Nevada.
Contact Sean Whaley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3900. Find him on Twitter: @seanw801