U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
BLM State Director Jim Kenna receives "Barstow-style" welcome
Jim Kenna will surely count his visit to the BLM Barstow Field Office as a memorable one. His day began with a typical all-employees meeting in which Barstow's employees shared updates on a myriad of projects, current events, and information about field-office issues. The meeting took a serious twist when several employees recounted their harrowing experience of being stranded in the desert when their vehicle became inoperable. Happily, teamwork, advance preparedness, and vigilance by staff resulted in a safe and positive outcome. As a reminder of the important lessons they learned, Barstow employees presented Mr. Kenna with his own desert emergency kit. (text continues below)
Mr. Kenna spoke about the honorable occupation of public service and the importance of integrity and excellence in our BLM work. Afterwards, employees feasted on a delicious home-cooked lunch.
The next stop in the itinerary was the Desert Discovery Center where Kenna was greeted by numerous partners -- ranging from the artists of Main Street Murals, to representatives of the Wounded Warriors and their service dogs, to local school administrators. Mr. Kenna learned firsthand about the intricacies and struggles of growing partnerships in a small town. The center's building and grounds are being transformed into an impressive model of energy sustainability and desert interpretation through the power of these partnerships.
Perhaps the most unusual part of the day was the "visitor" who rode his quad to the front door of the discovery center, without protective gear – and with a desert tortoise in hand. Employees cordially seated the guest near Mr. Kenna to listen to a presentation. A few minutes later he learned the good news that the "visitor" was really Barstow Field Office's own Ranger Ron participating in a safety skit. All-in-all, it was an action-packed day and one that Mr. Kenna will likely never forget.
- Barbara Croonquist, BLM California Desert District public contact representative (May 7, 2012)