The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recognized two BLM interpreters and educators from Idaho and Wyoming for their outstanding work on employee-conducted programs that enhanced public appreciation and understanding of the natural and cultural riches on our public lands, as well as management issues in the context of the BLM’s multiple-use mission. The awards were presented at the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) National Workshop, held on Nov. 7, in Reno, NV.
“The BLM depends on its interpreters and educators, whose expertise and knowledge help the public to understand what keeps our resources healthy; to appreciate how the wealth of our nation’s public lands can enrich their lives; and to guard the legacy we will leave for future generations,” said BLM Nevada State Director, Amy Lueders. Lueders presented the awards to Holly Beck, of the BLM Bruneau Field Office in Idaho; and Kathi Fine, of the BLM Rock Springs Field Office in Wyoming.
Each of this year’s winners did exceptional work with partners and communities to create meaningful interpretive and/or educational experiences and materials for public land users. This was the 18th year for the “Excellence in Interpretation or Education” Awards.
More about the award winners:
GOLD AWARD winner: Holly Beck, Bruneau Field Office, Idaho. Holly was instrumental in the development and construction of ethnobotany interpretive panels and a sage grouse habitat demonstration garden at the BLM Boise District Office.
SILVER AWARD winner: Kathi Fine, Rock Springs Field Office, Wyoming. Kathi developed the Mustang Versatility Trail Ride Buckle Series, which helped new mustang adopters’ work with their horses, and produced an educational component for local wild-horse adoption events.
A panel of BLM staff and representatives from partner organizations selected the winners. The nominees were judged on the quality of their work; their ability to involve partners; their effectiveness in enhancing public understanding of cultural and natural resources; their programs’ or products’ accessibility and sensitivity to diverse audiences; and their efforts’ success in helping BLM to accomplish its management goals.
The BLM awards were part of a wider presentation of awards given by various agencies at the workshop, including the U.S. Forest Service’s “Gifford Pinchot Award;” the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s “Sense of Wonder Award;” the National Park Service’s “Freeman Tilden Award;” the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ “Hiram M. Chittenden Award;” and NAI’s “Master Front-Line Interpreter” and “Master Interpretive Manager” Awards.
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 manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.