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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
 
Release Date: 10/06/11
Contacts: Kaveh Sadeghzadeh , (202) 912-7423  

BLM's "Director's Challenge" Initiative Will Enhance Volunteer Opportunities on Western Rangelands


WASHINGTON – As part of its ongoing effort to ensure the health of Western public rangelands, the Bureau of Land Management is announcing its “Director's Challenge” initiative to expand volunteer participation in monitoring and sustaining the health of wild horse and burro Herd Management Areas (HMAs). More specifically, this volunteer program is aimed at engaging members of the public in monitoring, conducting inventories, and restoring natural resources on BLM-managed HMAs throughout the West.

The Director’s Challenge initiative will offer citizen-based science opportunities that enhance both the BLM’s and stakeholders’ knowledge of resource conditions on public lands. Under this initiative, BLM field offices may receive up to $25,000 to implement projects that will engage citizen stakeholders in addressing land health issues within the HMAs. Possible challenge projects include conducting inventories of water sources, monitoring riparian area conditions, removing invasive plant species, and protecting spring sources.

"The BLM is committed to ensuring the health of the Western rangelands so that the species depending on them – including the nation’s wild horses and burros – can thrive," said BLM Director Bob Abbey. "The projects that will spring from this challenge will enhance the BLM's ability to make land management decisions based on the most current information, while also providing hands-on opportunities for those committed to preserving the Western rangeland."

Appropriate challenge activities may range from projects requiring specific skills and/or training, such as the inventory of key resource indicators, to riparian restoration projects that may require minimal training. Community or partnership-supported volunteer efforts are preferred, and field offices will recruit individuals at http://www.volunteer.gov, where volunteers can review project opportunities.



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 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
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Last updated: 10-07-2011