Kim Berns-Melhus

MInnesota state director


Kim Berns205x250Kim joined the Fund in September 2018 as Minnesota State Director.  A Minnesota native, Berns-Melhus most recently served in the Senior Executive Service for the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as the National Director for the Easement Programs Division in Washington, D.C. In this senior management role, she managed the largest conservation easement program in the federal government, encompassing all 50 states and U.S. Territories and a portfolio of 23,000 conservation easements. 

Berns-Melhus also served in executive positions at the Department of the Interior for two agencies, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service, providing leadership in the development of agency policy, regulations, standards, and procedures for the lands under the agencies’ jurisdictions.  Most of her career was spent with the U.S. Forest Service, where she started as a forester out of college and worked on seven different national forests in four regions as well as in the national headquarters for the agency.

In the early 2000s, Berns-Melhus served as a project manager for The Trust for Public Land’s federal land acquisition program in the Midwest region and led many projects benefitting both federal agencies and tribal communities.  

Berns-Melhus is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a degree in Forestry where she completed her forestry field studies in the Black Forest of Germany. She and her husband reside on property they recently purchased in Hugo, Minnesota.

Contact: kberns@conservationfund.org  Phone: 612-702-5277  Office: Minnesota