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September 21, 2011
In Reply Refer To:
4700 (260) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2011-193
Expires: 09/30/2012
To:                   All WO Officials, AFOs
From:               Director
Subject:           FY 2012 “Director’s Challenge”: Expanding Volunteer Engagement in Monitoring and Sustaining the Health of BLM Wild Horse and Burro Herd Management Areas                                                                       DD: 10/15/2011
Program Area: Wild Horse and Burro Program.
Purpose: The purpose of this Instruction Memorandum is to expand volunteer engagement in monitoring, inventory, restoration, and related activities in Wild Horse and Burro Herd Management Areas (HMA). 
Policy/Action: The objective of the “Director’s Challenge” is to develop citizen science opportunities that enhance both the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and stakeholder knowledge of resource conditions on public lands.  Projects addressing land health within an HMA will be eligible for support funding of up to $25,000 per field office if selected for implementation. All proposals should be forwarded to the Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning (AD-200) for consideration.
Appropriate “challenge” activities may range from projects requiring specific skills and/or training, such as inventory of key resource indicators to hands-on riparian restoration projects that may require minimal training. A list of possible projects follows: 
  • Collection of core resource indicator data (using standard methods and prescribed sampling protocol)
  • Inventory of water sources
  • Monitoring of riparian area condition
  • Protection of spring sources
  • Removal of invasive plant species
  • Installation of guzzlers
  • Construction of monitoring enclosures 
The objective of these monitoring and restoration projects is to increase the knowledge and participation of citizens in land management issues within HMAs. Data and other products resulting from appropriately managed volunteer data collection and land health monitoring activities can enhance the BLM’s ability to make informed resource allocation and land management decisions.  

“Director’s Challenge” Guidelines

  • The challenge will begin in Fiscal Year 2012, but may be extended into future years as successful volunteer projects are initiated.
  • Volunteer projects must meet the BLM’s identified management need, or answer a specific management question within one or more HMAs.
  • Engaging new or increased numbers of volunteer groups or individuals is preferred.
  • Field offices should recruit on Volunteer.gov/gov.
  • Community or partnership-supported volunteer efforts are preferred.
  • Field offices should develop a communication plan to promote the accomplishments of volunteers and highlight successful “Director’s Challenge” projects. 
Timeframe: Field Office Managers are invited to submit proposals through District Managers and State Directors to the AD-200 by October 15, 2011. Attachment 1 provides a submission template; submissions should not exceed two pages in length.
A multi-division panel will select the best proposals for implementation; no set number of selections has been established. Selected proposals will be announced by directive by
October 31, 2011, and identified in the Annual Work Plan.
Budget Impact: Projects addressing land health within an HMA will be eligible for support funding of up to $25,000 per field office if selected for implementation.
Background: There is a high degree of interest in volunteering with the Wild Horse and Burro Program. The Director’s Challenge was created to help the States to have the resources they need to manage volunteers.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: No change or effect to BLM manuals or handbooks is required. 

Coordination: This IM was coordinated between WO-200 and the National Landscape Conservation System staff.

Contact: Questions concerning this opportunity should be directed to Sally Spencer at sspencer@blm.gov or (202) 912-7265.

Signed by:                                                                 Authenticated by:
Mike Pool                                                                   Robert M. Williams
Acting, Director                                                          Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
1 Attachment

Last updated: 09-30-2011