September 24, 2008

Contact: Tom Gorey, 202-452-5137

BLM Director Announces Winners of 2008 Rangeland Stewardship Awards

Bureau of Land Management Director Jim Caswell today announced the winners of the BLM’s Rangeland Stewardship Awards for 2008. One of the awards was presented to BLM grazing permittee Chris Black of Joseph Black and Sons of Bruneau, Idaho, where Mr. Black’s work has enhanced sagebrush and riparian habitat in the Big Springs grazing allotment. A second award went to grazing permittees and other stakeholders for their collaborative rangeland management efforts in the Cody area of Wyoming. Director Caswell presented the awards in Twin Falls, Idaho, at a meeting of the rancher-based Public Lands Council.

"The BLM is delighted to present the Rangeland Stewardship Award to Chris Black, who has made tremendous efforts to intensively manage and improve public rangelands in Idaho," Caswell said. "His efforts, which include monitoring conditions and intensive herding to improve grazing management, have gone above and beyond our agency’s expectations."

The BLM also recognized all of the grazing permittees, as well as various groups and the general public, who have worked with the Bureau’s Cody Field Office staff in Wyoming. This is the first time the BLM has presented this particular award, known as the Rangeland Stewardship Through Collaboration Award.

"The high level of collaboration in Cody has made a distinct and positive difference in rangeland conditions throughout the area managed by the Cody Field Office," Caswell said. "These dedicated individuals accomplished more as a team than they would have by acting independently from each other. Consequently, this award recognizes the cooperative work of all involved partners."

The BLM manages more land – 258 million surface acres – than any other Federal agency. Most of this public land is located in 12 Western States, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, and cultural resources on the public lands.