Bureau of Land Management names Ester McCullough as Winnemucca District Manager

RENO, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management has selected Ester McCullough as the new District Manager for the Winnemucca District. She begins this assignment today and replaces Robbie McAboy, who has being acting District Manager since December 18, 2017. McAboy will return to her duties managing the BLM Southern Nevada District’s Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area and Walking Box Ranch.

“I am pleased to announce our selection of Ester McCullough as the new District Manager for the Winnemucca District,” said BLM Nevada State Director John Ruhs. “We feel very fortunate to have Ester joining BLM Nevada as she has solid experience in the management of natural resources and public lands.”

McCullough is currently BLM Utah’s Vernal Field Office Manager, Green River District, a position she has held since November 2015. In this position, she has led and managed more than 120 permanent employees, 20 seasonal employees and volunteers who conduct work on more than 1.7 million acres of federal surface and 3.8 million acres of federal minerals estate, including Forest Service and Indian Trust lands.

McCullough began her federal career as an Environmental Protection Specialist with the U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif., where she stood up the newly formed Branch of Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs. From 1994-2001 she was the Acting Natural Resources Officer (Environmental Protection Specialist) for Naval Air Station Fallon and served as the planning lead to modify air space for the 1996 move of the Navy’s elite “Top Gun” aviation training program form Miramar to NAS Fallon. In 1998, she led the withdrawal effort to create the existing 200,000 acre training range.

“The Winnemucca District has a diverse, multiple-use mission and a talented group of employees,” McCullough said. “Being able to return to Nevada as District Managr there is an honor and a great responsibility. I am looking forward to working with the great staff, civic leaders and stakeholders in Winnemucca.”

McCullough began her BLM career in 2001 as the Planning and Environmental Coordinator in the BLM Nevada’s Winnemucca District. While there she led the Black Rock National Conservation Area Range Mangement Plan planning effort and received the Outstanding Federal Project Planning Award from the American Planners Association for her efforts. In 2003 she left the BLM and headed to the Forest Service where she became the Natural Resource Planner on the Nez Perce National Forest and spent the next five years there.

McCullough returned to the BLM in 2008 as a project manager in BLM Idaho’s Jarbidge Field Office, Twin Falls District. There she managed major Rights of Ways for wind energy and pipeline projects. Following that, she became the Assistant Field Manager for Minerals and Lands in the Rawlins Field Office, a Pilot Oil and Gas Office as well as a Pilot Renewable Energy Office. From Wyoming she moved to the White River Field Office in Meeker, Colo., and served as the the Associate Field Manager from 2011-2015.

The BLM-Winnemucca District Office boundary encompasses 11,099,758 acres located in Humboldt and Pershing counties, and portions of Washoe, Lyon and Churchill counties in the northwest corner of Nevada. The District Office manages 74.6 per cent of these lands, or 8,276,113 acres of public lands


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. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $75 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2016—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 372,000 jobs.