Aug. 31, 2006
Contact: Kristen Lenhardt,
BLM Employees Reach Out During Cheyenne Frontier Days
Taking a stroll down Wild Horse Gulch at Cheyenne Frontier Days is like taking a step back in time to the days of the old west. Buildings reinvented to look like old-fashioned shops stand side by side, while locals dressed up in vintage western wear walk up and down the Gulch. At the end of the row, a white building displaying a large sign spelling out, “The General Land Office,” attracts tourists from around the world desiring a small taste of how the west was won.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wyoming State Office has used Cheyenne Frontier Days as an opportunity to interact with the public for 13 years. The first 11 were spent in a small booth in the fair grounds pavilion, but the BLM desired to expand its outreach further, transforming a once lifeless tin shed into an original General Land Office replica.
The General Land Office offers BLM employees an opportunity to inform the public about the vast range of responsibilities concerning the management of public lands.
Each day of the ten-day celebration, BLM men and women put on their western vests and prairie skirts to talk to tourists about recreational activities on public lands, wild horses, or simply welcome them to Wyoming. But the outreach is not limited to full-time BLM specialists only.
Four young women in the BLM Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) took the opportunity to expand their knowledge and take part in activities interacting with the public.
The students volunteered either at the General Land Office or rode in the Cheyenne Frontier Days Parade with Smokey Bear to help promote fire safety.
Serinda Patras, 20, of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Sara Weber, 20, of Wheatland, Wyo., are currently attending Laramie County Community College (LCCC) in Cheyenne while working at the BLM. Brianna Best, 18, as well as, Ashlie Copper, 18, both from Cheyenne, will enter their first year of college at the University of Wyoming in Laramie this fall.
“It was good to get some experience out of the office,” says Weber. “I learned more about the extent of what the BLM does and got the chance to interact with all sorts of people.”
The students worked with the BLM throughout the summer and will continue in the STEP program as time allows during the school year. The program offers students a chance to gain professional experience for the federal government while obtaining their education.