Summer 2008

valor award recipients and Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne 

Firefighters Honored for Bravery
by Ann Boucher

Four Lewistown BLM firefighters received the Department of the Interior’s Valor Award for their role in rescuing a pilot who had crashed in the path of a quickly advancing wildfire.  Scott Meneely, Andrea Robinson, Steven Spellberg, and Andrew Rishavy accepted their awards during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on May 13. [Read full story


Missoula Field Office Goes Green
by Marilyn Krause

The Missoula Field Office spent a good share of the winter in an office undergoing a major upgrade to the heating and cooling system. As inconvenient as it was, the employees knew their sacrifice would pay off in the future with less energy consumption.  [Read full story]   

the subgroup spends a day in the field 

No Simple Solution . . . but collaboration leads to satisfying results
by Craig Flentie

Travel planning on public land.  The mere mention of it draws different reactions from different people. Some public land managers begin feeling queasy; public land users begin casting suspicious looks at each other; mothers rush their kids out of the room; and preachers start writing sermons about sharing and caring.  Well, maybe not quite.  [Read full story

Air Force members receive their award 

Air Force Group Honored for Volunteer Service
by Ann Boucher

On duty, one of their jobs is to provide security around the missiles scattered across thousands of acres in Montana; off duty, they’ve donated hundreds of hours toward the maintenance of public lands and the safety and comfort of its visitors.  Their outstanding volunteer contributions earned the 341st Security Forces Group from Malmstrom Air Force Base the BLM’s annual Making a Difference national volunteer award.   [Read full story]

Lancaster holding her award 

Dispatcher Receives National Award
by Mark Jacobsen

Miles City Field Office Senior Fire Dispatcher Amy Lancaster was awarded the 2007 National Excellence in Dispatching Award during a surprise ceremony March 11 in Butte, marking the first time the prestigious award has been given to a Montana fire dispatcher.  The annual Excellence in Dispatching Award is an interagency award that recognizes individual excellence and contributions to wildland firefighting dispatch and coordination operations.  [Read full story]    

sage grouse on lek 

Cooperative Effort Provides Sign for Sage Grouse Viewing
by Marilyn Krause and Kelly Bockting

Lucky are the people who have the opportunity to view a sage grouse lek in the spring and watch the intricate mating dance. The Reservoir Creek Lek south of Dillon has become a popular spot for public viewing over the years because of its accessibility.  [Read full story]  


Philip Gill Receives Patriot Award
 Gill with committee members
by Ann Boucher

Fire Management Officer Philip Gill received the Patriot Award from the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve during an all-employee meeting at the Montana State Office on April 30.  The award recognizes employers who are supportive of their employees who serve in National Guard and Reserve units.  [Read full story]  

 crew members preparing to spray
A Bear Trap Rite of Spring

by David Early

Every spring since 2002, a couple dozen BLM staffers and Madison County weed crew members have shouldered backpack sprayers and headed upstream along the banks of the Madison River in the Bear Trap Wilderness.  On May 14, 27 people, and two horses once again did battle with a stubborn and persistent foe: spotted knapweed.  [Read full story]