The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has expanded its staff in Northwest Colorado.
The Little Snake Field Office in Craig has hired Brad Merrill to fill the position of law enforcement officer.
Originally from Hot Springs, S.D., where he was a ranger for Wind Cave National Park, Merrill has a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice, a degree from the National Ranger Training Institute and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. He has also earned the titles of wildland firefighter and emergency medical technician.
Merrill's area of patrol will include the Kremmling and White River field areas, approximately 5.5 million acres.
John Husband, Little Snake field office manager, believes Merrill will help the coordination with other law enforcement agencies, a quality Husband believes is imperative for enforcement of public land regulations.
"Brad (Merrill) had a good track record working with locals and establishing close coordination with other agencies during his time at Wind Cave National Park," said Husband.
Merrill looks forward to meeting the people of Northwest Colorado and getting down to business.
"I invite anyone who would like to visit with me, or who has a question regarding BLM law, to contact me anytime at (970) 826-5006," said Merrill.
Mieke Bruch has been hired as a rangeland management specialist. Her duties will include working with permittees and permit renewals.
Like Merrill, Bruch hails from South Dakota. She left Sturgis to attend the University of Nebraska where she earned degrees in both animals and range science.
She spent two seasons working as range technician with the United States Forest Service in Deadwood, S.D. She then went to Williston, N.D., and worked as rangeland management specialist with the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The BLM picked a local resident to fill the other rangeland management specialist position. Mike Alpe is from Hayden. He holds a bachelor of science degree in recreation/park administration and a master of science degree in range resource management.
Alpe worked in Walden for 13 years in the logging industry. He has also served as lead technician on several BLM special projects such as browse monitoring and re-establishing bitter brush southwest of Maybell.
His duties will include grazing compliance checks, assessing landscape health and permit renewals.