Local BLM Ecologist Wins National Education Award

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management recently recognized Nikki Grant-Hoffman, McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area Science and Education Coordinator, at the National Association for Interpretations National Workshop.  

The BLM’s “Excellence in Interpretation or Education” Awards focus on exceptional programs that enhance public appreciation and understanding of the natural and cultural resources on America’s public lands as well as management issues in the context of the BLM’s multiple-use/sustained yield mission. For the past 20 years, the BLM has recognized employees who produce outstanding interpretive or educational programs or media.

“The Excellence Awards program underscores the BLM’s commitment to the concept of shared stewardship,” said BLM National Lead for Interpretation, Brianna Candelaria, who presented the awards. “Strong education, interpretation, and youth programs are essential to our efforts to engage citizens in the work we do on behalf of the American people. These programs help foster meaningful connections between people and their public lands.” 

The BLM awarded Grant-Hoffman under the education category for developing several high-quality education programs that offer youth the opportunity to learn about public lands and natural resources in an outdoor classroom environment. Her work can be seen on-the-ground at McInnis Canyons NCA and Dominguez-Escalante NCA. Grant-Hoffman works closely with the NCAs’ Friends Group Colorado Canyons Association to formalize and deliver curricula that meet Colorado state education standards and will allow teachers, volunteers and partners to administer these programs into the future. 

“Nikki’s work with Colorado Canyons Association ensures we are able to reach as many students as possible with our education programs,” said NCA Manager Collin Ewing. “She has gone above and beyond to provide numerous education opportunities for youth in western Colorado to learn about the wonders of their public lands.”

The BLM’s National Conservation Lands contain and highlight some of the West’s most spectacular public lands. BLM Colorado manages three National Conservation Areas on Colorado’s west slope: McInnis Canyons, Dominguez-Escalante and Gunnison Gorge. 

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’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. 

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