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June 27, 2006
In Reply Refer To:
8300 (250) P
Ref. IB No. 2006-005 and No. 2006-066

Information Bulletin No. 2006-099
To:                   All BLM Employees
From:               Division Chief, Recreation and Visitor Services
Subject:            Bureau of Land Management Legends Honoree and Beacon Award Recipients for Great Outdoors Week, June 12-16, 2006
Program Area(s): Recreation, Travel, Tourism and Visitor Services
Purpose: This directive announces the recipients of two awards presented during Great Outdoors Week in June 2006. These awards are the new Beacon Award, designed to recognize innovation in the use of technology in visitor services and recreation management, and the Legends Award, presented annually since 1991, which recognizes an outstanding Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employee for increasing recreation opportunities and participation. The Beacon Awards recognizing two BLM partnerships and the 2006 BLM Legends Award will be presented at special events in Washington, D.C., during Great Outdoors Week, June 12-16, 2006.
The 2006 BLM Beacon recipients are:
· BLM Colorado State Office and Volunteers for Outdoors Colorado (VOC): BLM Colorado and VOC have created and now manage a sophisticated partnership website to recruit, manage and serve public lands volunteers, called -- V Outdoors.
· BLM New Mexico State Office and Public Lands Interpretive Association: BLM New Mexico State Office and the Public Lands Interpretive Association have created a seamless online information center for information about recreation on public lands in the west -- offering maps, concierge service, guide books, passes and more.
The 2006 BLM Legends Award Honoree is Tom Folks, the Recreation, Wilderness and Archaeology Team leader for BLM-Arizona Arizona Strip District. In addition to his current position, Tom has served in a variety of roles for the Bureau, including: park ranger, cartographer, outdoor recreation planner and instructor. He is an expert on the Wilderness Act, manager of wilderness, recreation resources, and on the applications of benefits-based management to recreation. Through his leadership and mentoring, he has built public support for the BLM’s planning efforts and often receives letters thanking him for authorizing events such as the “Rhino [Motorcycle] Rally.”
Policy/Action: The BLM announces the 2006 award recipients. 
Timeframe: Effective immediately.
Budget Impact: Minimal.
Background: As part of the nomination package each BLM office submitted their rationale. Following are excerpts from each of the winning nomination packages providing more information.
Beacon Award recipient VOC has developed a new web-based clearinghouse called V Outdoors (www.voutdoors.org) to assist all outdoor recreation providers in Colorado. This new use of technology is providing an improved and efficient way to manage volunteer opportunities for recreation that:
·        Makes giving back to the outdoors easier. The V Outdoors website provides volunteers access to one-stop shopping to find and register for a variety of volunteer activities.
·        Uses a powerful search engine, V Match, to link volunteers with opportunities that match their skills and interests. Volunteers search for the opportunity by date, type of work, location and agency or community organization. Registration is easy and fast with an on-line form and is confirmed by e-mail.
·        Helps land management agencies and conservation organizations partner with more volunteers and manage them more efficiently.
The Beacon Award winning online Public Lands Information Center provides information about all federally managed public lands in each western state as well as state parks, monuments and historic sites, state game refuges and wildlife management areas, and state trust lands. Unique to the website are its dynamic, interactive maps which present information as part of larger geographical units, referenced to key cities and highways, a feature especially useful to vacationers unfamiliar with public land attractions along their travels. Website users can:
·        Learn about the different categories of public lands and the agencies that manage them, with direct link to agency websites.
·        Visit the online Public Lands Museum that offers a brief history of public lands, the role they played in the nation’s history, important legislative landmarks from 1785 to the present, and the values and different uses of the public domain. The Museum’s educational exhibits range from recreation to wild horses and burros to BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System to natural resources and ranching, among others.
·        Learn more through links to other educational, public lands-related websites as well as through free or for-sale publications such as books, maps and other educational and interpretive merchandise.
·        Obtain full service recreation information not only on federally managed public lands but also on state managed lands.  Each recreation site includes a description, activities and facilities offered including accessibility, address and telephone of the managing agency, reservations where available, and any additional information such as Recreation Vehicle length restrictions.
Legends Honoree Tom Folks, throughout his 29-year tenure with the Bureau, has continually sought opportunities to enhance the experience of visitors to the public lands managed by anticipating recreation and technological trends, translating his ideas into replicable models for managers, and pursuing creative public-private partnerships. His achievements represent several firsts for the BLM in recreation management that continue to serve both the agency and the public today. Among those contributions are:
·        The development in 1996 of a multi-criteria three-way partnership with the Arizona Strip Interpretative Association, Northern Arizona University, and the BLM-Arizona Arizona Strip District to manage visitation experiences in Paria Canyon and Coyote Buttes as one of the 18 original national BLM fee demonstration projects that resulted in the agency’s first self-service online permitting system;
·        The 1999 internal publication, “Managing Remoteness on the Arizona Strip,” and his related National Training Center course, “Recreation Planning, Effective Engagement in BLM’s Land Use Planning Process”, which allow the BLM to match visitors to the appropriate site and location based on their equipment and experience;
·        An increase in non-traditional use and accessible recreation opportunities in remote locations such as Stateline Campground along the Arizona Trail and the Vermilion Cliffs Highways project in northern Arizona constructed in 2005 and now open to the public; and
·        The completion of some of the BLM’s first wilderness inventories.
Directives Affected: WO IB No. 2006-005 and WO IB No. 2006-066.
Coordination: Beacon Awards – A BLM interdisciplinary team reviewed all of the BLM’s nominees selecting two Beacon Award nominees whose names were forwarded to the American Recreation Coalition (ARC). A special panel assembled by ARC made the final decision. ARC presented the awards to the recipients on Monday evening, June 12.
Legends Award - A BLM interdisciplinary team reviewed all of the BLM’s nominations and recommended a BLM honoree whose selection was approved by the Chief, Recreation and Visitor Services Division, acting for the Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning. Tom Folks received his award at a special ARC sponsored event on Tuesday, June 13.
Contact: Hal Hallett, Senior Outdoor Recreation Specialist, Division of Recreation and Visitor Services (WO-250), at (202) 452-7794.
Disclaimer: Check the BLM Directives Website to verify that this is the current directive before use.
Signed by:                                                       
Authenticated by:
Gary Marsh                                                     
Robert M. Williams
Acting, Division Chief                                      
Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Recreation and Visitor Services

Last updated: 02-09-2011