U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
California

News.bytes News.bytes Extra, issue 231

Virginia Freeman presented with award at national ceremony

Virginia Freeman of Susanville, a volunteer with BLM's California wild horse and burro program in Susanville, was presented a "Making a Difference" award at a May 10 ceremony in Washington, D.C.  She has volunteered with BLM-California's Wild Horse and Burro Program for more than a decade.

Freeman was profiled in a News.bytes Extra, when the national awards were announced.

Below (from left): Dan DuBray, BLM's assistant director for communications, award winner Virginia Freeman and BLM California assistant state director Jim Abbott.
From left: Dan DuBray, BLM's assistant director for communications, award winner Virginia Freeman and BLM California assistant state director Jim Abbott

When those who have worked with Virginia Freeman learned of the award, they gathered some facts and anecdotes about her. For instance:

  • She finds great joy and humor in her animals and she recognizes that each of them has a personality. Her animals' names reflect that:
    • Aerial, the burro "responsible" for getting Ginny so deeply into the wild horse and burro world, was named for long, multi-directional ears.
    • Blare, a burro, earned his name with his "voice."
    • Penny, a mustang, got her name from her color and birthplace in the Coppersmith Herd Management Area.
  • Ginny just LOVES to talk about the attributes of wild horses and burros. Anyone who knows her will tell you that. She was once seen wearing a T-shirt that said "Help! I'm talking and I can't shut up!"
  • She is always willing to talk about these animals - whether to a child, prospective adopter or a TV camera.
  • Her burros are comfortable and popular in adoption event crowds. When a Freeman burro begins to wander Ginny or her husband, Dave, are always attentive with a "Wild burro! Run for your life!" warning.
  • Ginny works hard to win positive recognition for the wild horse and burro program, but she has fun doing it:
    • With her burro-owning friends, she formed the Wild-Ass Women.
    • Another group , EARS, is the Equus Assinus Recreation Society.
  • She organized the annual Longears Cele 'bray' tion. In the burro show, she tones down the seriousness of horse shows with events like:
    • Dancing with Goats
    • The Outhouse Trot
    • The Pancake Race

Lynn Scarlett, Acting Secretary of the Interior, opened the awards ceremony:
Lynn Scarlett, Acting Secretary of the Interior, addresses those attending the ceremony

Award winners -- with their families and friends -- took time out from a tour to pose on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, with the Washington Monument in the background:
winners and families/friends on steps of Lincoln Memorial with Washington Monument in background

Profiles of all 2006 BLM "Making A Difference" National Volunteer Award winners.

May, 2006

BLM California News.bytes, issue 231