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For Immediate Release:                                                      Contacts:  Carolyn Cohen (202/785-6583)


BLM Volunteers Ray and Juanita Huber Recognized by “Take Pride in America” Programs

Ray and Juanita Huber of Saint George, UT received special recognition from Interior Secretary Norton today as she launched a renewed and revitalized “Take Pride In America” campaign.  Ray and Juanita Huber performed over 6,000 hours each over seven years as regional coordinators for the Arizona Site Steward Program.

Ray and Juanita Huber have made outstanding contributions in personally training over 80 site stewards and coordinating the work of more than 200 stewards on the Arizona Strip.  Site stewards play a critical role in monitoring and preserving archeological sites on BLM lands.  The Hubers helped ensure that their team remains enthusiastic by sponsoring regular potlucks, coordinating field trips and initiating service projects to educate site stewards. 

According to the Hubers, “We enjoy serving as site stewards because we are helping preserve a nonrenewable resource for present and future generations.  Our favorite part is getting to meet so many wonderful people who are involved in this work.”  Local BLM managers note that the Hubers’ enthusiasm and positive attitude is infectious.

Modeled after the highly visible and successful national cleanup endeavor initiated by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, the new Take Pride In America was unveiled by Secretary Norton at a luncheon newsmaker speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  It will become part of President George W. Bush’s Freedom Corps.

“By working with fellow volunteers, young and old, we lend our hands to heal our land, one acre at a time.  And in so doing, we are celebrating the start of the national, grassroots, bipartisan Take Pride in America program,” Secretary Norton said.  “Take Pride In America will empower volunteers from every corner of America to restore and improve our parks, refuges, recreation areas and cultural and historical sites. The program inspires citizen stewardship through a bold and innovative public communication campaign. Outstanding volunteer efforts are rewarded with presidential recognition.”

With the announcement of the new Take Pride In America, the Department of the Interior launched a special Take Pride Web site - - that outlines program goals and offers ideas and suggestion for citizen, group and corporate involvement.  Interior will serve as the lead federal department and will enlist the cooperation and commitment of all agencies in the federal government.

The BLM, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior, manages more land - 261 million surface acres - than any other Federal agency.  Most of this public land is located in 12 Western states, including Alaska.  The Bureau, with a budget of about $1.9 billion and a workforce of some 10,000 full-time, permanent employees, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation.  The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.  The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on the public lands.


— BLM —