Local Employees Honored By Public Lands Foundation

May 21, 2013

Former BLM New Mexico State Directo Linda Rundell, BLM Las Cruces District Manager Bill Childress, and BLM New Mexico State Director Jesse Juen

  WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Principal Deputy Director Neil Kornze honored two BLM employees today at a ceremony held by the Public Lands Foundation.  Bill Childress and Jon Reponen were presented with national awards for their commitment and exceptional dedication to managing America’s public lands.

The first honoree is Bill Childress, the BLM-New Mexico Las Cruces District Manager, a position he has held since 2008.  Bill received the Outstanding Public Land Professional Managerial/Administrative Award for his work on the highly controversial Alamogordo Regional Water Supply Project.  Bill focused his work on creative problem solving and coalition building in order to engage stakeholders to resolve conflicts.  He demonstrated outstanding leadership throughout this project while maintaining the general leadership and direction of the Las Cruces District.

The Foundation also honored Jon Reponen, a Supervisory Forester for the BLM-Oregon Burns District, as the recipient of the Outstanding Technical/Operational Award.  The award recognized Jon for his dedication to the District’s stewardship activities and for his ability to “reach across the aisle” and work with various interests.  His extraordinary performance in an operations/technical role in these and many other resource improvement activities within the Burns District have helped the district better manage public lands and collaboratively work with its partners.

“These employees represent what the BLM is all about; public service at its best,” said BLM Principal Deputy Director Neil Kornze.  “I am proud to be here today to recognize Bill and Jon for their commitment to America’s public lands and for their exceptional passion and dedication.”

The two awardees’ achievements will be permanently inscribed on the "Hall of Fame Award" plaque at the BLM headquarters in Washington, D.C.

"The Public Lands Foundation awards give us the opportunity to recognize those who are dedicated to managing the public lands.  These honorees are shining examples of professionalism, leadership and outstanding public service," Public Lands Foundation President Ed Shepard said

Each year since 1989, the PLF gives two Outstanding Public Land Professional Awards to BLM employees who have excelled in Managerial/Administrative and Technical/Operational positions.

The Public Lands Foundation is a national nonprofit conservation organization whose members are primarily retired and active BLM employees.  The organization advocates and works for the retention of America's Public Lands in public hands, professionally and sustainably managed for responsible common use and enjoyment.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. 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 public lands.