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Release Date: 01/16/14
Contacts: Meredith Black , 202-912-7417  

BLM Partnerships Receive "Partners in Conservation" Awards

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today presented three Bureau of Land Management-related partnerships with the Secretary’s 2013 “Partners in Conservation” Award at a ceremony held at the Interior Department ’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.  The Arizona Cienega Watershed Partnership, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Bootstraps Program, and the Utah Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative were recognized as exceptional examples of outstanding partnerships honored among many candidates nominated by Interior Department agencies.

The Partners in Conservation Award recognizes partnerships that promote conservation, protect natural and cultural resources, use innovative approaches for resource management, and engage youth and diverse entities in accomplishing Interior’s mission.  Award winners were selected from a large slate of nominees and were selected for their special contributions to conservation and management of the public lands.

“The Department of the Interior is proud to recognize the accomplishments of those who are innovating and collaborating in ways that address today’s complex conservation and stewardship challenges,” Secretary Jewell said at an awards ceremony at the Interior headquarters in Washington today.  “These partnerships represent the gold standard for how Interior is doing business across the nation to power our future, strengthen tribal nations, conserve and enhance America’s great outdoors and engage the next generation.”

A list of BLM’s award-winning partnerships is below.  Details and photos about each partnership and the organizations involved can be found here:

Cienega Watershed Partnership (Arizona): The Cienega Watershed Partnership promotes understanding and stewardship of the natural and cultural resources of the more than 45,000-acre Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. Project work has recovered populations of native fish and threatened leopard frogs, developed refuge habitats, eliminated nonnative aquatic species, planted native aquatic plants, and engaged local communities.  The partnership has brought together numerous players to involve youth in restoration work, giving them valuable work experience for careers in natural resources; conduct scientific investigations in the watersheds of the area; offer training in erosion control and water harvesting techniques; and encourage cultural preservation of the region through the recording of oral history interviews.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Bootstraps Program (Nevada): The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Bootstraps Program is a model youth engagement partnership that equips at-risk young adults with the skills to return to school or enter the workforce by involving them in natural resource project work.  The program includes field experience and practical classroom instruction focused on self-development.  Since its launch nine years ago, the program has employed more than 100 participants, two-thirds of whom are Native American. The young adults’ outstanding stewardship has enhanced sage-grouse and other wildlife habitat on Nevada’s public lands and has included the removal and control of more than 12,000 acres of pinyon-juniper trees in preliminary priority sage-grouse habitat.

Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative (Utah): The Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative, led by Southern Utah University’s Harry Reid Outdoor Engagement Center, is an innovative partnership that recruits students, educators, and young people to complete vital agency conservation projects on public lands in southern Utah and northern Arizona while training them for careers in land and resource management.  Student interns work as interpreters, natural and cultural resource support staff, fee collectors, researchers, and trail builders.  Participants repair recreational trails, monitor and rehabilitate wilderness study areas, restore streams and riparian areas, reduce woody fuel loads and invasive vegetation, establish and monitor range plot frequencies, monitor wildlife, and monitor and restore cultural resources.  One of the program’s successes is the creation of the first certified wildland firefighter crew in Utah’s university system.  

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.

Last updated: 01-17-2014