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March 4, 2010
In Reply Refer To:
6100 (170) P
Information Bulletin No. 2010-043
To:                   All Field Officials
From:               Director
Subject:           Tenth Anniversary Celebration of the National Landscape Conservation System
This year, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the establishment of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS).  The BLM Washington Office is hosting four national events and the States are hosting numerous local events.  Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and I will be personally participating in several of these activities. We would like to encourage you to participate in these activities as well.
This Information Bulletin provides some background information about the creation of the NLCS and a summary of the 10th Anniversary national events.
Background.  Passage of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-11) in March of 2009 represents a significant achievement within the first 100 days of President Barack Obama’s presidency. This historic legislation provides the foundation for the BLM’s effort to conserve and protect America’s treasured landscapes and provides the statutory basis for the NLCS.  Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar noted that: 
The establishment of the National Landscape Conservation System was a major step forward in recognizing lands of exceptional beauty, historical value, and cultural significance that are under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management. The national conservation lands that are part of the System include 880 units and encompass 27 million acres of Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, and National Scenic and Historic Trails. Through effective, forward-looking stewardship, the BLM will protect and preserve these treasured landscapes as a legacy for the American people. 
In addition, the Omnibus Act added nearly 928,000 acres of Wilderness, one National Monument, four National Conservation Areas, 367 miles of Wild and Scenic Rivers, and 40 miles of National Scenic and Historic Trails to the NLCS. Secretary Salazar’s treasured landscapes initiative will help the BLM succeed in its conservation efforts, and continue to implement the vision conceived by former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt.
On March 24, 2000, former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt held an all employees town hall meeting at which he shared his vision of the special stewardship responsibility entrusted to the BLM. Former Secretary Babbitt noted that: 

The BLM is the steward of many of the great landscapes of the American West. Having such an extraordinary set of resources under its care requires us to think far into the future about managing those resources. In the 21st century, the BLM faces a choice. It can become the greatest modern American land management agency, the one that sets the standard for protecting landscapes, applying evolving knowledge and social standards, and bringing people together to live in harmony with the land…. Or it can… [have] its most desirable lands carved up and parceled out to other land management agencies… For half a century, from 1946 to 1996, every single large new national monument established under the Antiquities Act was taken away from the Bureau of Land Management. 

…for the BLM to keep its special areas within the agency and not ultimately have them transferred to others, the BLM must show it is committed to, and capable of delivering on the conservation part of its existing legal mandate. 
The new BLM must have at its core a system of specially protected and managed conservation units, including landscape monuments and National Conservation Areas. It is a system that both protects our own crown jewels and interprets them to the public. It is a system that stands proudly alongside parks and refuges as part of our national heritage. …But unlike most units of the park and refuge systems, BLM areas typically permit the continuation of such traditional uses as hunting and grazing, recognizing that in many instances they can be compatible with good wildlife management, protection of biodiversity and natural values. 
At this same town hall meeting, former Secretary Babbitt asked then BLM Director Tom Fry to create an office of special areas to coordinate the management of the monuments, national conservation areas and other important conservation areas. The former Secretary wanted the BLM to formally recognize within its institutional structure a system of lands managed in a special way.  On July 12, 2000, former Assistant Secretary of the Interior John M. Berry approved the BLM’s request to establish the Office of the National Landscape Conservation System.
Tenth Anniversary National Events.  The purpose of the 10th Anniversary national and State-sponsored events is to increase awareness and understanding of the NLCS, by celebrating our accomplishments and setting the stage for the challenges and achievements of the next 10 years. The following summarizes the four national events: 
March 24, 2010           All Employees Open House and Satellite Broadcast.  Please join us in celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the BLM NLCS with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Director Bob Abbey on March 24th at the Main Interior Building Sidney Yates Auditorium. This event will be broadcast via satellite and a phone-in audio bridge line to BLM employees. Secretary Salazar and Director Abbey will reflect on the beginnings of the NLCS as well as accomplishments from the past 10 years in conserving, protecting and restoring these treasured landscapes. 
April 14-15                  The Future of NLCS, a Roundtable Discussion, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado.  The BLM NLCS and the University of Colorado’s Center of the American West are hosting an event that will examine the creation of the NLCS and its values through the eyes of many outside BLM who are familiar with the NLCS. A roundtable composed of national conservation leaders such as former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt will also discuss the progress of the NLCS’s formation and where the system should be headed over the next decade. 
May 24–28                  A Decade of Discovery - Science Symposium, Albuquerque,      New Mexico. The NLCS and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History are hosting this 10th anniversary event to highlight the research and science projects that have occurred throughout the system, and discussing the future research potential of the NLCS. Additional information may be found at: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/blm_special_areas/NLCS/nlcs_-_science_.html
TBD- November         Treasured Landscapes Summit. As a follow-up to the aforementioned 10th Anniversary national events, the BLM proposes to hold a treasured landscapes summit in which BLM managers and employees are invited to participate and discuss the future of the NLCS and other BLM treasured landscapes. 
State-Sponsored Events. The BLM is celebrating this extraordinary time in America’s public lands history with over 100 different NLCS 10th Anniversary Celebration Events taking place coast-to-coast. The State-sponsored events will engage BLM’s gateway communities and the American public and launch new long-term stewardship efforts.  Events planned include: 
  • Celebrating alongside 35,000 Boy Scouts in Fredericksburg, Virginia the 100th Anniversary Boy Scout Jamboree;
  • A re-ride across Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Pony Express;
  • A Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River Festival is planned in New Mexico;
  • Utah is working in partnership with the Wild and Scenic River Coordinating Council to host an interagency Wild and Scenic Display at the St. George Field Office;
  • At the Western Wilderness conference in April, the BLM will present an NLCS photo exhibit and NLCS Director Carl Rountree will be a featured speaker.
  • Celebrations at:

o   the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area in Florida,

o   the Iditarod National Historic Trail Sled Dog Race,

o   Arizona’s Sonoran Desert National Monument,
o   Colorado’s Canyon of the Ancients National Monument,
o   Idaho’s Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area,
o   Montana’s Clarks Days at Pompeys Pillar National Monument,
o   the rocky coasts of the California Coastal National Monument, and
o   Oregon’s Wilderness Areas.
Invitation to Participate. The BLM managers and employees are encouraged to participate in the various State-sponsored local events and to the extent feasible, the national events as well.  Your participation is essential to the success of these national and State-sponsored events.  We look forward to seeing you there. If you have any questions, please contact Angela West at Angela_West@blm.gov.
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Robert V. Abbey                                                          Robert M. Williams
Director                                                                       Division of IRM Governance,WO-560

Last updated: 03-05-2010