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National Office
Release Date: 06/04/10
Contacts: Jeff Krauss , 202-912-7410  

BLM Law Enforcement Rangers Honored with Bravery Award

HENDERSON, Nev. – Four law enforcement rangers with the Bureau of Land Management will be recognized today by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) during its national awards banquet in Henderson, Nev.  BLM rangers honored with the 2009 Bravery Award are Ranger Alexandra Burke, of the BLM-Montana/Dakotas Hiline District-Glasgow Field Office; Ranger Carman Prisco, of the BLM-Northern California District-Alturas Field Office; Ranger Bryn Elton, of the BLM-California Desert District-El Centro Field Office; and Chief Ranger Derek Anderson, of the BLM-California Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office.

“Our law enforcement rangers are highly skilled and resourceful individuals who are called on to protect millions of remote acres managed within the National System of Public Lands,” said Mike Pool, BLM Deputy Director of Operations.  “When our rangers are honored with this kind of award, it is confirmation to me that we have some of the best and brightest working to protect our nation’s natural, cultural, and historic resources.”

In January 2009, Ranger Burke and Border Patrol Agent Phil Wright tracked down a lone suspect after he shot and killed one person and wounded two others in a northeastern Montana town.  Burke shot and killed the suspect after he ran from behind a tree and attempted to attack her with a knife.  Burke also received a National Association of Police Officers “Top Cop” award last month for her actions related to this incident.

In June 2009, Rangers Carman Prisco and Bryn Elton were forced to make a split-second decision to protect themselves and three other officers, while investigating a large marijuana cultivation site on public lands in Lassen County, California.  After a deadly exchange of fire with two suspects using high-powered assault rifles, Prisco and Elton were able to disarm and handcuff both suspects – one of which was killed while firing on the officers – clear the area, and radio for help for a downed officer.  Prisco has also been selected as the 2010 Field Training Officer of the Year and will receive that award later this month at the National Association of Field Training Officers national conference in Denver.

While Ranger Derek Anderson made his rounds, on a cold January day as then-park ranger for the National Park Service, he conducted a citizen wellness check in a remote parking lot and ended up fighting for his own life.  Before Anderson could initiate radio communications, the subject forced a series of violent struggles between the two.  After finally escaping the unruly subject, who was now charging with the ranger’s own baton and ignoring orders to stop, Anderson was forced to fire his weapon, killing the subject.

“As the urban interface encroaches on nearby public lands, so too does urban crime,” said William Woody, Director of the BLM Office of Law Enforcement and Security.  “Our rangers, trained to protect public land resources and the safety of both our employees and the public, are often called upon to work closely with state and local deputies on increasingly serious crime activity occurring on the public lands.”

Learn more about the BLM’s Office of Law Enforcement and Security at (select “What We Do,” then “Law Enforcement”).

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 06-04-2010