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 for their outstanding efforts, received the BLM’s national Excellence in Ecosystem Management Award for Achievements in Community Protection and Assistance.
Terry Chaplin (South Dakota FO), Karly Krausz (Lewistown FO), Terina Mullen (Butte FO), and Dena Sprandel-Lang (Miles City FO) are specialists in the MT/DKs 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, MSO 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.”
Chaplin is a fuels specialist and Krausz, Mullen and Sprandel-Lang are mitigation and education specialists. The four will share a $10,000 cash award and will be recognized at the annual Prevention Workshop scheduled for next May in Jackson, Wyo.