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Lewistown Field Office
Release Date: 05/31/12
Contacts: Craig Flentie (406) 538-1903    

Purdys Recognized With Prestigious Volunteer Award

Lewistown, MT----Craig and Marjorie Purdy of Missoula, Montana, have been awarded the Bureau of Land Management’s prestigious 2012 Making a Difference National Volunteer Award for their resolve and foresight as volunteer campground hosts last summer along the Upper Missouri River in the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.

The Purdys share a lifelong appreciation of America’s public lands and after their retirements, volunteering as campground hosts seemed an obvious means of giving a little back to the public lands that have provided them with so much enjoyment.  As volunteer campground hosts the Purdys were responsible for visitor contacts; registration of campers, boaters and other recreationists; campground maintenance; and information dissemination: in short, they represented the BLM in all aspects of campground visitor services. 

Craig and Marjorie began their volunteer campground host assignments at the Kipp Recreation Area last summer and set about their duties with enthusiasm, professionalism and a great “can do” attitude.  But little did they know just how busy their summer volunteer season with BLM would be.

A year ago last May, heavy rains and extreme snowpack runoff combined to create severe flooding throughout Montana, and much of the flood water found its way into the Missouri River drainage.  Craig and Marjorie monitored the rising waters and kept BLM managers and visitors informed of the changing conditions.  The flooding conditions and forecasts for more flooding became so severe the BLM closed the Kipp Recreation Area.  Common sense and public safety were the driving factors behind this closure.  The Purdys did an outstanding job of overseeing the evacuation and were the last to leave the popular camping area.

About that time another need arose at a BLM campground about 100 miles upriver.  Coal Banks Landing was in need of assistance and the Purdys cheerfully moved their summer belongings to their second assignment of the season.  A new visitor center contact station and Coal Banks was nearly finished and the campground needs some renovations.  Craig applied his considerable skills to the finish work on the building and the campgrounds as Marjorie assisted river floaters, boaters and campers.  Thanks to their efforts, the construction work and renovations at Coal Banks Landing were finished without missing a beat, while a steady flow of visitors used the area. 

Then by midsummer an unexpected staff shortage at another campground (Judith Landing, about 47 river miles back downriver) led the Purdys to pack up and move to their third duty station of the summer.  Craig and Marjorie spent the remainder of last summer at Judith Landing and very much enjoyed their duties at this remote and picturesque campground and take-out site.  As usual, the Purdys provided great customer service and kept the Judith Landing Recreation Area in excellent condition during their stay.   

The Making a Difference National Volunteer Award recognizes those volunteers who go above and beyond their duty description to help visitors enjoy their stay on public lands.  “It seems a bit of an understatement to say the Purdys served above and beyond their duty descriptions.  They worked at three different duty stations last summer and brought a sense of enthusiasm and a dedication to visitors and to their work every day,” offered Mark Schaefer, a recreation planner on the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument staff in Fort Benton.
As of May 15, 2012, Craig and Marj have returned to their beloved Missouri River and resumed their campground host duties at Judith Landing Recreation Area in the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument.

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 sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Lewistown Field Office   920 NE Main Street      Lewistown, MT 59457  

Last updated: 06-28-2012