BLM Renews Longstanding Partnership with the Public Lands Foundation

The Bureau of Land Management reaffirmed its longstanding partnership with the Public Lands Foundation, as BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding with the group. The agreement will enable BLM and PLF to continue working together to improve the health and accessibility of BLM-managed public lands for current and future generations of Americans.

Director Stone-Manning met with PLF President Mary Jo Rugwell, outgoing President Ed Shepard and Executive Director Courtney Lyons-Garcia this week to discuss how to continue close coordination on a host of issues. PLF played a key role in helping the agency mark its 75th Anniversary in 2021. The agreement with PLF will help the agency address the challenges of the next 75 years and beyond.

BLM Director and members of Public Lands Foundation sit around table to sign new partnership agreement
BLM Director Stone-Manning meets with Public Lands Foundation President Mary Jo Rugwell, outgoing President Ed Shepard and Executive Director Courtney Lyons-Garcia to renew Memorandum of Understanding

“The Public Lands Foundation has long been a partner with the BLM, providing support for some of our most important work and our mission in myriad ways. They know the BLM better than anyone, because their members are former BLM employees with decades of experience in public land management. This agreement will help us strengthen and expand our collaboration across public lands in the West for years to come,” said BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning.

"The PLF is excited to be finalizing this MOU with the BLM today.  It will enable our organization to continue its long history of support and advocacy for the country's premier land management bureau and its dedicated employees," said PLF President Mary Jo Rugwell.

PLF is a national nonprofit organization committed to maintaining the public lands in public ownership and to supporting stewardship of these lands by well-trained professional resource managers and staff. The organization was founded in 1987 and is composed primarily of retired BLM employees from all levels who continue to be dedicated to the professional and sound management of these lands and resources. The members cumulatively have thousands of years of land management experience and provide a vast reservoir of knowledge on the history of the management of public lands to assist current employees.

BLM Director Stone-Manning stands with outgoing President of the Public Lands Foundation Ed Shepard, Public Lands Foundation President Mary Jo Rugwell and Executive Director Courtney Lyons-Garcia
Left to Right: outgoing President of the Public Lands Foundation Ed Shepard, BLM Director Stone-Manning, Public Lands Foundation President Mary Jo Rugwell, Public Lands Executive Director Courtney Lyons-Garcia

PLF has been a strong supporter of the agency throughout its existence and has a long history of collaboration with BLM on multiple issues and priorities. This MOU will provide a framework for joint planning and implementation of mutually beneficial projects, programs, and activities that sustain and enhance BLM-managed public lands and build public support for them.

Each year since 1989, the organization recognizes outstanding BLM employees who have excelled in their work, as well as partners, volunteers and friends groups who have helped advance and sustain community-based stewardship on landscapes that include, in whole or in part, lands administered by BLM.

For more information on the MOU and BLM collaboration with PLF, visit