BLM Logo
Washington Office
Release Date: 07/16/10
Contacts: David Chrisy , 916-941-3146  
  Melodie Lloyd , 202-912-7412  

BLM's Eric Morgan Wins "Take Pride in America" Award

BLM Deputy Director Mike Pool, Interior Department Senior Advisor Robert Stanton, Award Winner Eric Morgan, and Take Pride in America Executive Director Lisa Young at the awards presentation in Washington July 16.
WASHINGTON, DC – The Department of the Interior today announced the selection of Eric Morgan as recipient of the Take Pride in America National Federal Land Manager Award for the Bureau of Land Management. The Department honors one deserving manager in each of its bureaus annually with this award. BLM Director Bob Abbey selected Morgan, manager of the Fort Ord Public Lands Project in the Hollister (Calif.) Field Office, earlier this month from a number of candidates. 
“Through Eric’s leadership and management, public lands on the former Fort Ord military base are being restored to support a diversity of both natural and recreation resources,” Abbey said. “Not only that, Eric is accomplishing these things through community spirit and positive partnerships with our many publics in the area.”
In 2009, Fort Ord public lands benefited from 10,200 volunteer hours, valued at $206,550, used to improve trails, conduct biological surveys, battle invasive weeds, restore sensitive habitats, and construct fuel breaks.  Generous citizens have donated more than $90,000 to date for the care and upkeep of such popular recreation facilities as the Creekside Terrace trailhead. In addition to his community of volunteers, Morgan has stewarded key partnerships with fellow Weed Warriors at California State University-Monterey Bay Watershed Institute, the Army, the Student Conservation Association, as well as Monterey County.
“I feel very fortunate to work in a community where citizens have such a keen interest in stewardship of their natural resources, and a dedicated BLM team with whom any manager would be honored to work,” said Morgan.
Restoration of the incredible Fort Ord backcountry is supported through unique events, such as local musicians who serenade volunteers with live bluegrass music while the volunteers plant native plants. The BLM also hosts an annual “Dog Day” festival to educate hundreds of pet owners about responsible use of the public lands.  The festival includes contests and awards, a pet fashion show, hikes, pet health and safety, training tips, and prizes.
In 1996, the BLM was selected to administer lands on the former Fort Ord military base according to guidelines outlined in the habitat management plan agreement executed with a number of agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game, Fort Ord Reuse Authority, and the Army. Under the agreement, the BLM has acquired 7,200 of the approximately 15,000 acres to be managed as a natural resource management area, even while unexploded ordnance remains in some areas. The native coastal habitat includes riparian forest, perennial grasslands, and vernal pools essential to the survival of 35 species of rare plants and animals that in some cases are found only on Fort Ord. While habitat preservation and enhancement are the primary missions, there are also 86 miles of world class roads and trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians, including about six miles of the Juan Batista de Anza National Historic Trail.

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.

Washington Office   1849 C Street N.W.      Washington, DC 20240  

Last updated: 07-27-2010