BLM California honors David Slibsager with the Ed Hastey Stewardship Award
Story by Jodie Nelson, Public Affairs Specialist (Acting), and Eric Morgan, Fort Ord National Monument Manager. Photos by BLM California.
BLM California recently announced that David “Dave” Slibsager is the recipient of this year’s Ed Hastey Stewardship Award in recognition of his decades of leadership, public service, and work contributions on projects benefiting BLM-managed lands across California.
Slibsager passed away in May. A truly exceptional person, his well-deserved award was announced and celebrated by the people who worked closely with him, his friends, and his family.
The annual Ed Hastey Stewardship Award honors BLM California employees who exemplify the spirit of BLM California’s legendary former State Director Ed Hastey, who passed away in February 2020. Last year was the first year the award was presented. It recognizes recipients for their strong dedication and leadership in the stewardship of BLM-managed lands, ensuring sustainability and benefit for future generations. The award also recognizes recipients for their exemplary efforts in managing, conserving, and/or restoring public lands and for building dynamic partnerships to assist in carrying out the BLM’s multiple-use and sustained yield mission.
Slibsager began his career with BLM in 1993 as a range technician in what was then the BLM California Hollister Field Office. In 2000, he was promoted to supervisor of the Central Coast Implementation Crew, a world-class heavy equipment crew. Slibsager’s career path paralleled the evolution of the BLM as an agency. He developed the capacity and expertise of his crew and fleet to meet the expanding activities of the BLM and increased demands of the public. Slibsager not only shepherded to completion numerous infrastructure and rehabilitation projects, but also encouraged and mentored new employees. He was described as the “salt of the earth” and a legendary storyteller by his coworkers.
Slibsager and his crew spearheaded a wide variety of recreation facility improvements for the BLM across California, vastly improving the recreation experience for the public. Within the Central Coast Field Office, Slibsager’s crew designed and constructed campgrounds, day-use areas, and off-highway vehicle staging areas. Other projects included the development of the Fort Ord National Monument’s Work Center, construction of the Creekside Terrace Trailhead, construction and resurfacing of miles of Fort Ord National Monument roads, creation of miles of singletrack trail, and the assistance in the preparation of hundreds of habitat restoration sites.
Slibsager’s office was his truck and he could often be seen multi-tasking and overseeing a construction project from behind the wheel of his Ford F-250.
Slibsager’s contributions to public lands are enjoyed by public land users and will continue to benefit users for years to come.
Ed Hastey served for 22 years as the BLM California State Director. He also served as the BLM’s associate director, providing critical leadership as the BLM implemented provisions of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Hastey set an enduring collaborative tone in the BLM’s dealings with communities, organizations, state and local government, and stakeholders. He retired from Federal service in 1999. After leaving Federal service, Hastey spent 20 years with Resources Law Group, acquiring lands from willing sellers to improve management of parks and wilderness for future generations.