The Bureau of Land Management Ranger of the Year for 2015, Frank Stepleton, works in the Grand Junction Field Office and is primarily focused on law enforcement within the McInnis Canyons and Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Areas.
Stepleton is recognized for his efforts in building multi-agency working relationships, as well as enhancing the protection pf public lands and visitor safety through proactive enforcement.
His work over the past year led to several key indictments for criminal activity on public lands including illegal hunting, illegal marijuana cultivation on public lands, and illegal dumping. Many of these law enforcement actions included close coordination with state and local law enforcement agencies.
“Frank is a valuable member of our organization, and this recognition is a testament to his dedication and service,” said Ruth Welch, State Director for BLM Colorado. “His commitment to public safety and resource protection is evident in all of his accomplishments. The BLM and the public are fortunate to have him as an ambassador of America’s public lands.”
Stepleton joined the BLM in 2009 as a student intern and was hired as a law enforcement ranger for the Grand Junction Field Office in 2012 after graduating from Colorado Mesa University with a degree in criminal justice.
Prior to joining the BLM, he was a sergeant in the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Division. Stepleton completed Iraq combat tours in Al Anbar, 04-05, and Baghdad, 06-07. He was awarded the Purple Heart during his tour in Baghdad.
Stepleton comes from a family of law enforcement professionals. His mother serves as the Chief of Police in Fruita, Colorado, and his cousin works with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.