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Montana BLM Volunteer Receives National Recognition

by Ann Boucher, Montana State Office

A longtime Montana BLM volunteer was recently named a National Public Lands Day 2007 Volunteer of the Year.
Illa Willmore is featured on the National Environmental Education Foundation’s website ( as one of this year’s three winners nationwide. The award recognizes outstanding and dedicated public lands volunteers.
Illa was nominated for the award by Sandra Padilla, a park ranger for the Lewistown Field Office who has worked closely with Illa over the years. Although the award specifically recognizes volunteers who participate in National Public Lands Day projects, Illa’s volunteer service extends much further than the annual one-day event. In fact, Illa takes care of business at James Kipp Recreation Area throughout the year, and has logged a total of about 16,000 volunteer hours since 1993. Her service has already earned her the national BLM Making a Difference volunteer award, as well as the President’s Call to Service Award. The accompanying article summarizes her contributions.
The BLM would like to thank Illa for her years of dedicated volunteer service. Her knowledge of the area, her sincere personality and her willingness to share these traits makes a stop at the James Kipp Recreation Area an even nicer experience for many visitors. Illa is a great ambassador of the area's rural residents and the BLM, and is one reason some visitors return to Kipp year after year.
Illa raking

BLM volunteer Illa Willmore works on a National Public Lands Day project at James Kipp Recreation Area. As a longtime campground host at the site, Illa suggested the project and then helped see it through. Photo by Sandra Padilla