Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Contact: Kathryn Harrington
For Immediate Release: September 13, 2004
Secretary Norton Announces Recipients of the 2004 National Take Pride in America® Federal Land Manager Award

WASHINGTON - Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton today announced recipients of the 2004 National Take Pride in America Federal Land Manager Award. Presented annually, Take Pride in America's national awards recognize outstanding volunteer projects and efforts in a variety of categories. Today's awardees, representing the Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service and USDA's Forest Service, are honored for their innovative and creative approaches to using volunteers.

"These land managers have taken extraordinary steps to build strong and effective partnerships between citizen volunteers and professional staff," Norton said. "By harnessing this limitless volunteer potential at the places we enjoy, we have seen tremendous accomplishments and are building a lasting legacy of responsibility and community."

This year's Federal Land Manager Award recipients are listed below:

Brad Knudsen
Refuge Manager, Patuxent Research Refuge
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Under Knudsen's direction, Patuxent Research Refuge hosts the most successful volunteer program in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Northeast Region. Last year 357 volunteers donated more than 34,000 hours in almost every aspect of the refuge operation. These volunteer hours equate to more than 16 full-time staff positions. One of the most unique aspects of Patuxent's volunteer program is its agreement with the Meade Natural Heritage Association. MNHA helps the refuge manage one of the largest federal public-use hunting programs in the Service, both in season length and in number of hunters. Without Knudsen's leadership and the support of the MNHA, the Service could lose this successful recreational activity.

William Martin
Outdoor Recreation Planner, Lower Colorado Regional Office
Bureau of Reclamation

Martin works with numerous contacts throughout the Lower Colorado Region to share ideas and information on how to better involve the public in stewardship of public lands. He has formed robust partnerships with more than 35 entities, including federal, state and local government, and private-sector groups. Specific examples include his work with the Lake Havasu Fisheries Partnership to improve recreational fishing access at the lake; participation in the River Mountains Partnership on trail development; and collaboration with the cities of Henderson and Bullhead, Nev., and Clark County parks to improve recreational use and management of Reclamation lands.

LouAnn Jacobson
Manager, Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, Anasazi Heritage Center
Bureau of Land Management

Jacobson consistently involves volunteers in all operations of the Canyon of the Ancients National Monument and the Anasazi Heritage Center. The teamwork of volunteers, interns and staff provides seven-day-a-week support to the federal site. For example, in fiscal year 2003, they collectively greeted 25,850 visitors, cataloged 68,750 artifacts, hosted 119 school groups and responded to more than 200 research requests. Specifically, in fiscal year 2003, volunteers donated 13,000 hours of service in areas such as education, interpretation, and outreach; research and monitoring studies; and cleanup, maintenance, and administration.

Brian O'Neill
Volunteer Coordinator, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
National Park Service

O'Neill has built a nationally acclaimed volunteer program at GGNRA that has had a dramatic effect on the area's natural resource and visitor services program. The GGNRA volunteer program emphasizes identifying diverse volunteer tasks, some requiring very specialized talents; provides great flexibility in acceptance of volunteer efforts under its Volunteer Drop-in Program; and uses innovative communications channels, including a Volunteer Hotline.

Jack Blackwell
Regional Forester, Region 5
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service

Blackwell has led efforts to expand volunteerism on national forests with personal outreach efforts to nontraditional partners and the creation of a regional volunteer program for four Southern California forests. His active support of the Take Pride in America Partners Council efforts to respond to the massive fires of fall 2003 included the establishment of a regional volunteer coordinator. This new position has dramatically eased the burden on organizations seeking to become involved in public lands volunteerism, like the Girl Scouts of America. He also has worked with forest supervisors in the region to increase the priority placed on volunteer programs in forest plans.

"The 2004 Federal Land Manager Awardees are but five outstanding examples of how federal staff successfully work with volunteers on public lands across the country," said Marti Allbright, Take Pride in America executive director.

All award recipients will be honored at a Sept. 21 ceremony in Washington, D.C.

About Take Pride in America
Take Pride in America is a national partnership that recruits, supports and recognizes volunteers who work to improve our public parks, forests, grasslands, reservoirs, wildlife refuges, cultural and historic sites, local playgrounds, and other recreation areas. With 100 Charter Partners, Take Pride involves federal, state and local governments; conservation, youth and recreation groups; and top national corporations and organizations. Together, we protect and enhance the special legacy all Americans share - our public lands that cover one in every three acres across the nation. For more information visit:





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