This year’s awardees were honored during a ceremony that connected winners across the country via video teleconferences at BLM offices in several states and in Washington, D.C.
“Through the years, volunteers on our public lands have ensured that Teddy Roosevelt’s ideal – the American conservation ethic – would endure,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “The BLM volunteers being celebrated today are champions of this conservation ethic, and it is an honor to recognize them for their extraordinary efforts.”
In 2017, more than 28,000 volunteers contributed nearly 1 million hours of service valued at close to $23 million. The annual “Making a Difference” Award recognizes exceptional volunteers who have contributed thousands of hours improving the public lands. BLM officials say that these volunteers have helped the BLM monitor trails, manage wild horses, keep campers safe, and provide environmental education, interpretation, and other visitor services.
The 2018 awardees and their BLM nominating offices are:
• Pat & Phyllis Malato, Outstanding Achievement, Upper Snake Field Office (Idaho)
• Susan Murphy, Outstanding Achievement, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation
• Miranda & Madison Dickinson, Outstanding Youth, National Historic Trails Interpretive Center (Wyoming)
• Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary, Group Excellence, Little Snake Field Office (Colorado)
• David & Jane Styer, Lifetime Achievement, Fort Ord National Monument (California)
• Sandra & Geoff Freethey, Lifetime Achievement, Moab Field Office (Utah)
• Laura Olais, Employee Winner, Gila District Office (Arizona)
A national panel of BLM specialists and partner organization representatives selected the winners for their exceptional contributions to conservation and management of public lands.