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Date:  December 11, 2007
Contact:  Mark Jacobsen (406) 233-2831 

BLM Specialists Receive Fire Program Award 
The BLM has placed a high priority on reducing the threat of fire in wildland-urban interface communities and a critical link in that process is developing strong community partnerships. 

Four Montana/Dakotas specialists have embraced that task and received the BLM’s national Excellence in Ecosystem Management Award for Achievements in Community Protection and Assistance for their outstanding efforts.

Terry Chaplin (South Dakota Field Office), Dena Sprandel-Lang (Miles City Field Office), Karly Krausz (Lewistown Field Office), Terina Mullen (Butte Field Office) and are specialists in the Montana/Dakotas fire program. In the course of helping communities to develop Wildfire Protection Plans, planning and conducting interagency fuels treatments and educating the public about wildland fire, these individuals have developed effective cooperative partnerships with a high level of trust. 

“Dena, Karly, Terina and Terry searched out community leaders and guided them through the planning process,” said Mike Dannenberg, BLM Montana State Office fire prevention and mitigation specialist. “They provided the insight, motivation, and education that have led to improved fire response, integrated command, and safer and more effective fire strategies and tactics.”

“The heart of this award is this group's demonstrated excellence in the establishment and nurturing of positive, productive relationships with key stakeholders,” said Kelly Hawk, community protection specialist in the National Interagency Fire Center. “As I see it, this kind of work takes the most effort, patience, finesse, and tenacity of any job we undertake.”

The Eastern Montana Resource Advisory Council made a point of expressing their appreciation and approval of the awards during their recent meeting in Billings Nov. 14. Several council members cited the update efforts of Sprandel-Lang during the height of the fire season in Powder River County as being the best agency information sharing to date.

 “Working with Dena in the fuel mitigation area has had the same feeling of confidence and understanding that she carries with her on any occasion,” said Chief Derrick Rodgers, Miles City Fire and Rescue. “She has helped our department feel comfortable and respected whenever working with her at BLM. She is the best of the best with a smile and great attitude to go with it.”

Chaplin is a fuels specialist and Krausz, Mullen and Sprandel-Lang are mitigation and education specialists. The four will share a cash award and will be recognized at the annual Prevention Workshop scheduled for next May in Jackson, Wyo.

Last updated: 06-28-2012