BLM Team Wins Presidential Award for Web Tools for Mountain Bikers

The White House honored BLM’s Recreation Mapping Project Team with one of six 2016 Presidential Customer Service Awards on December 13.  The award recognized the BLM team, which includes BLM staffers from across the country, for an interactive mapping effort that provides details on the top 20 U.S. mountain biking trails and new tools for accessing recreational opportunities on public lands.

President Obama used the occasion to send a video message  thanking the winners for their “passion for public service” and telling all federal employees that, “It’s times like now when we need people who show the rest of the country what it means when we say we are all Americans first.”

When asked by the White House what led him into public service, BLM outdoor recreation planner and mapping team member Zach Jarrett said, “I’m inspired by the outdoors, by the vast network of public lands that exist across the United States and by the opportunity to help develop the next generation of public land stewards through my job as a public servant.” 

Along with Jarrett, BLM team members shown from left to right in the accompanying photo are Scott Feldhausen, Jarrett, Dennis Byrd, Andy Tenney, Dario Lunardi, and Jenna Whitlock. They were supported by Oregon BLM employees Michael Campbell and Aaron Haselby as well as by the International Mountain Bike Association and Mountain Bike Project to develop new tools for people to access their public lands.  

More than a million mountain-bikers use BLM trails each year. The BLM  mountain-biking web site features details on trails for all skill levels from the desert Southwest to the Pacific Northwest and from the western Mountain States to the Mid-Atlantic.  Each interactive trail site may include a virtual tour as well as stunning video and photos like the featured one of Jarrett on a trail near Alsea Falls in Oregon. (Photo credit Leslie Kehmeier of the Wide Eyed World).

Jarrett began riding mountain bikes in his youth across iconic landscapes in Oregon and hopes to instill in others the same values he learned from experiences on public lands.  “I can’t think of another career that could be more rewarding and inspiring than helping to protect our public lands for future generations while motivating the youth of our world to get connected to nature.”