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Bureau of Land Management Celebrates Golden Anniversary

Improving the Quality of Service to America: BLM's New Organizational Adjustment.

By Michelle Dawson, Partnership/Outreach Specialist, and Deb Rawhouser, Trails Specialist, Recreation Group
Bureau of Land Management staff, July 1996

The Bureau of Land Management, responsible for managing 270 million acres of America's public lands, is committed to improving the quality of service we provide to our customers and the American public. Our commitment is to the land and to the people. By providing quality customer service, we can ensure that our mission to maintain the health and productivity of the public land sis fulfilled efficiently and effectively.

In 1994, the BLM developed the Blueprint for the Future, an interdisciplinary vision for the future of public lands and the BLM. Following that, we streamlined our organization and reduced administrative overhead. The agency's Corporate Goals include maintaining healthy ecosystems, serving current and future publics, promoting collaborative leadership, improving business practices, and improving human resource management practices.

In early 1996, the BLM created a Washington Office Assessment Team to evaluate the effectiveness of our initial streamlining effort. To improve our service to the American people and to our various customers and stakeholders, the BLM determined that organizational adjustments were desperately needed for fulfilling our mission and corporate goals. Our key to survival in this constantly changing society is to remain flexible and adaptable.

On October 1, 1996, we began our organizational adjustments to better accomplish BLM objectives and mission. Today BLM public lands are valued for their environmental resources, their diverse recreational opportunities, their important cultural resources, and, in an increasingly urban world, their vast open spaces. Our new organization also recognizes the traditional uses of the public lands as an important resource for the production of livestock forage, timber, and energy and mineral reserves.

To meet these increasing public demands, BLM refined the Assistant Directorate for Renewable Resources and Planning under the leadership of Maitland Sharpe, the former Executive Director of the Izaak Walton League of America. Sharpe's Deputy is Tom Walker, a long-timer career BLMer. Sharpe directs Planning, Assessment, and Community

Support; Fish, Wildlife, and Forests; Rangelands, Soils, and Water; Wild Horses and Burros; Recreation; and Cultural Heritage, Wilderness, Special Areas, and Paleontology.

The Acting Group Manager of the Recreation Group is Jack Peterson, a recreation planner with many years of Field and Headquarters experience. Jack is also the Senior Recreation Specialist. Other Recreation Group Members include:

  • Hal Hallett, Recreation Program Analyst
  • Lee Larson, Use Authorization Specialist
  • Vicki Dixon, Tourism Specialist
  • Michelle Dawson, Partnership/Outreach Specialist
  • Anthony Bobo, Management Analyst
  • Kay Ellis, Accessibility Specialist
  • Amy Galperin, Interpretation Specialist
  • Deb Rawhouser, Trails Specialist
  • Stew Jacobson, Land Ethics Specialist, National Trails

As with any new designation, ironing out the wrinkles also requires a few "honeymoon" weeks. BLM is undertaking that task. Periodically, we will provide status reports on our operation, our accomplishments, and recreation opportunities on BLM public lands in future issues of Trail Tracks.

We will, however, never lose sight of our sacred trust. On this milestone anniversary— the BLM turned 50 on July 16, 1996— we rededicate ourselves to restoring and preserving America's natural abundance. BLM public lands and the resources they contain are a legacy we inherited from our forefathers. Our collective challenge is to pass them on, unimpaired, to our children. Working with American Trails, we can ensure that the country we leave to future generations holds the same promise and opportunity as the one we inherited.

Working closely with the Recreation Group is the Cultural Heritage, Wilderness, Special Areas, and Paleontology Group with responsibility for National Trails.

As with any new designation, ironing out the wrinkles also requires a few "honeymoon" weeks. BLM is undertaking that task. Periodically, we will provide status reports on our operation, our accomplishments, and recreation opportunities on BLM public lands in future issues of Trail Tracks.

We will, however, never lose sight of our sacred trust. On this milestone anniversary ­p; the BLM turned 50 on July 16, 1996 ­p; we rededicate ourselves to restoring and preserving America's natural abundance. BLM public lands and the resources they contain are a legacy we inherited from our forefathers. Our collective challenge is to pass them on, unimpaired, to our children. Working with American Trails, we can ensure that the country we leave to future generations holds the same promise and opportunity as the one we inherited.

Trail Organizations Join BLM in Celebrating Golden Anniversary

By Michelle Dawson, BLM Partnership/Outreach Specialist,
and Deb Rawhouser, BLM Trails Specialist


To celebrate the Bureau of Land Management's 50th Anniversary during 1996, several trail organizations joined BLM in signing Golden Partnership Agreements and identified locations on public lands containing challenging and spectacular multiple use trails. These Golden Agreements were signed by the BLM's Acting Director, Mike Dombeck, at BLM's birthday celebration on July 18, 1996, in the historic Dept. of the Interior Building in Washington, D.C. Trail groups involved in the signing included:

  • Jim Hasenauer, President of the International Mountain Bicycling Association,
  • Robert Rasor, Vice President of the American Motorcyclist Association,
  • Dave Lillard, President of the American Hiking Society
  • Donna Chisum, President of California Association f Four Wheel Drive Clubs, Inc.

These partnerships spotlight the critical importance of protecting these public land treasures and underscore the various recreational opportunities available to millions of Americans at outstanding sites.

Mike Dombeck, BLM's Acting Director, says, "Trails are important because they portray diversity: diversity of uses, diversity of the people who use the trails, and diversity of place and fellowship experienced by each person. Dombeck also believes that there is a direct link between healthy public lands and quality recreation. "Sound public land stewardship rests on a simple premise: we cannot meet the needs of the people if we do not first secure the health of the land... The way we deliver healthy and productive landscapes is by working with the people on the land."

As stewards, BLM is working with its many committed partners typified by the strong support of American Trails, American Motorcyclist Association, California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs, Inc., American Hiking Society, and the International Mountain Bicycling Association to ensure that this generation's children and future generations will always be able to enjoy the beauty and splendor of America's priceless legacy. BLM public lands were once considered the "lands nobody wanted." Today, they are recognized as a rich and marvelous legacy for the people of the United States-diverse, adventurous pathways connecting our past to our future.

 

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