Volunteer John Howe recognized for BLM Lifetime Achievement Award

by Emily McCall, Volunteer Coordinator at Bureau of Land Management Grand Junction Field Office

Volunteers are vital to the Bureau of Land Management and public lands.  Every year, almost 30,000 volunteers perform nearly a million hours of service, valued at over $25 million.

At a formal virtual ceremony in May, dedicated volunteer John Howe received the 2021 Bureau of Land Management’s Making a Difference: Lifetime Achievement Award for 15 years of volunteering to improve and expand recreation opportunities on public land in the Grand Junction area.

John acted as the Chairman of the Grand Valley Canyons Chapter of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Association (COPMOBA) for 10 years before recently stepping down and has served as a member on the Colorado Canyons Association (CCA) board for many years. In his nomination of John as a candidate for the award, Chris Pipkin, Recreation Planner at the BLM Grand Junction Field Office, detailed John’s evolving and prominent role in planning and implementing new trails and recreation opportunities on BLM-managed lands in the area.

Especially noteworthy are John’s ongoing efforts to foster cooperation between motorized and non-motorized trail users by sharing his talent and experience with other trail user groups. John has helped four different local off-highway vehicle (OHV) clubs navigate vetting and hiring contractors to complete resource surveys needed for several motorized trail proposals. He also worked side-by-side with OHV club members, leading crews to build new motorized trails and positive relationships with OHV users.

In the past four years, John has partnered with the BLM, COPMOBA, the City of Fruita, Mesa County, and local businesses to raise funds and secure grants from Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The grants were used to hire environmental consultants and professional trail builders to produce a trails master plan for the BLM’s North Fruita Desert recreation area, conduct cultural and biological surveys, construct trails, and hire a Western Colorado Conservation Corps trail construction and maintenance crew.

The BLM and its local partner organization Colorado Canyons Association are excited to present John his award in person. Join us in congratulating John at the Hot Tomato Café and Pizzeria at 124 N Mulberry St, Fruita, CO 81521 on Thursday, July 1 from 6 – 8 p.m. More details here: https://www.coloradocanyonsassociation.org/events/2021/7/1/celebrate-john-howes-lifetime-achievement.