ARIZONA STRIP – The Bureau of Land Management has named Michael Herder as the new district manager for the Arizona Strip District.

Herder comes to Arizona from Nevada, where he served as the associate district manager and later, district manager, for the BLM’s Ely District. Herder served in a temporary assignment as the BLM Nevada associate state director from September through December of 2017. He started work at the Arizona Strip Jan. 8.


Herder’s return to the Arizona Strip, which comprises 2.8 million acres north of the Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona, 

brings his journey full circle. Herder began his BLM career 30 years ago as a biological technician at the Arizona Strip District Office, where he worked for 20 years. During that time, Herder was promoted to wildlife team leader, where he was responsible for planning and implementation of various program activities related to wildlife, fisheries, riparian, and threatened and endangered species.

Herder later worked in the Washington, D.C., office, where he prepared national policy and facilitated budget allocations for the wildlife and fisheries programs nationwide. In 2006, Herder was named BLM Arizona Employee of the Year. He holds a B.S. in Wildlife Management and an M.A. in Marine Biology from Humboldt State University in California. 

Ray Suazo, BLM Arizona state director, appointed Herder to the position overseeing the Arizona Strip District. 

“Mike is an experienced land manager who has demonstrated the ability to deal with a variety of challenging issues. He has fostered positive working relationships with local, state, federal, and tribal partners, as well as local communities and other stakeholders. We are lucky to have him in Arizona and welcome him to our leadership team,” Suazo said.

Herder replaces Tim Burke, who retired at the end of the year. The district has about 65 employees.

“I’m happy to be back in this region and I’m looking forward to the opportunities to collaborate with our great partners on the Arizona Strip,” said Herder.

The Arizona Strip District includes the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Arizona Field Office, and Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. The Grand Canyon isolates the Arizona Strip region from the rest of Arizona, making it among the most remote and rugged public lands management units in the lower 48 states.

There are approximately 4,000 miles of unpaved roads leading to spectacular scenic vistas, remoteness and solitude among rough scenic canyons and ponderosa pine forests, as well as working landscapes that support the local economy through grazing, mining and other uses.