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California effort wins BLM-Forest Service award

Each year, the Bureau of Land Management Director and USDA Forest Service Chief host an awards reception at the North American Wildlife & Natural Resources Conference, to recognize outstanding individual achievements by natural resources professionals in each agency, as well as significant partner contributions to wildlife, fish and native plant conservation. This year, the award for "Conservation Partner" went to David Burton of the Aspen Deliniation Project.

The Aspen Deliniation Project is a collaborative effort involving BLM, the Forest Service, California Department of Fish and Game, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, California Deer Association and other partners to promote the conservation of aspen in the western United States.  The initial focus this project was on developing and implementing standardized aspen inventory and stand assessment protocols among cooperating land and resource management agencies in eastern California and northwestern Nevada.  The objectives, geographic scope, partnership involvement, and overall visibility of the Aspen Delineation Project have greatly expanded since Mr. Burton began his first volunteer aspen conservation efforts in 1999.  (story continues below)

BLM Acting Director Jim Hughes presents the award to David Burton, as U.S. Forest Service Director Joel Holtrip looks on.
BLM Acting Director Jim Hughes presents the award to David Burton, as U.S. Forest Service Director Joel Holtrip looks on.

In presenting the award, Acting BLM Director Jim Hughes said, "The work Mr. Burton is helping to facilitate through the Aspen Delineation Project is critically important at this time because the distribution and abundance of aspen has been declining in the western U.S. for several decades. The lack of aspen regeneration on many BLM rangelands has left remnant stands of senescent trees that will soon be replaced by other species as the aging trees die. Because aspen regeneration in the western U.S. occurs primarily by root or stump sprouting, once aspen stands have been eliminated from an area they are essentially gone. Their removal from the landscape has significant long-term consequences for wildlife habitat and other ecosystem values.  The information, tools, and funding support provided through the Aspen Delineation Project thus represents an outstanding contribution by an individual or organization demonstrating 'exemplary work in the conservation and management of fish, wildlife and native plant resources on public land administered by the BLM and the FS.'"

"We are proud to present this award to David Burton, an extraordinary volunteer for the BLM and Forest Service who richly deserves to be recognized for his long-standing and untiring service on aspen conservation issues."

 Aspen Delineation Project website

BLM California News.bytes, issue 279

Last updated: 04-30-2007