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:
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.
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.
Manager, Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, Anasazi Heritage
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.
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.
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
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: www.TakePride.gov.