Murl L. Shaver III represents the BLM to the public - both in the real world and the cyberworld.
As a public contact representative, Murl staffs the front counter at the Needles Field Office. He informs visiting members of the public of recreational opportunities in the Tri-State area of California-Arizona-Nevada. He keeps the public area stocked with informational brochures for visitors, and keeps inventory of maps, brochures and publications. He also responds to e-mail inquiries and telephone calls and directs customers to the BLM specialist who can best help them.
Murl has handled other duties with BLM, such as:
- Inputing recreation data into BLM's recreation database;
- Managing the Ivanpah Dry Lake Permit program;
- Conducting outreach programs for the public at special events - Earth Day, Public Lands Day and local events;
- Monitoring special events such as the Barstow to Las Vegas off-road race, Chemehuevi Wash Poker Run and the recent DARPA Challenge.
- Work as fee collector at Glamis Dunes on holiday weekends;
- Caring for rescued desert tortoise until transported to The Living Desert;
- Leading interpretive hikes for local youth groups.
In his "spare time," he updates Web pages for the Needles Field Office.
"One of my goals is to improve the public’s perception of the BLM, by putting a personal face on the agency that they can relate to. It helps that many people in this area have known me most of my life." He also wants to "let the public's know how they can help shape the way we manage public lands." With the Web pages his potential reach is worldwide. And the Web is where he also found his current position, almost three years ago.
"After 20-plus years of service in the U.S Air Force I was looking for a career working with the public dealing with environmental issues and found this job while surfing the Web. I thought to myself, 'Talk to people about the desert I grew up in and love.' I could do that! I applied and a few months later I was hired."
Murl is originally from Needles, and served four years with the Needles Fire Department, before working two years with the California Conservation Corps. His years of service with the U.S. Air Force included 14 as a Firefighter and six as a Command and Control Superintendent.
Murl lives in Needles with his wife and two of his four children: three daughters and a son.
And what does he most like to do for relaxation? "Take a hike in the desert far away from the hustle and bustle of society, and spend time with my family."