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Brian Kurzel and Colorado Natural Area
THE PUBLIC LANDS FOUNDATION presents Brian Kurzel and Colorado Natural Area Program (CNAP) volunteers with its 2009 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation. The Foundation grants this recognition to honor private citizens and organizations that work to advance and sustain community-based stewardship on landscapes that include, in whole or in part, public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The BLM White River Field Office in northwestern Colorado is home to a semi-arid high plateau landscape that includes the energy-rich Piceance Basin. Several Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) have been established by BLM to protect important historic, cultural, scenic and natural values and special status plant populations.
Now concurrently designated as Colorado Natural Areas, these ACECs are each assigned a volunteer natural resource steward for annual monitoring by CNAP volunteers. Each area also receives, on a rotating basis, critical volunteer help for annual long-term inventory and monitoring assistance on special status plant species populations and habitats. CNAP coordinates the volunteers, provides monitoring oversight and training, prepares monitoring data for each ACEC at year-end, and provides BLM with an annual report.
In 2009, in addition to providing BLM with several hundred volunteer and stewardship hours for ACEC rare plant population monitoring, two volunteers assisted with a BLM road closure in key occupied Dudley Bluffs bladderpod habitat. This included working entirely by hand to chip the oilshale rockbed into small pieces using a rock bar, removing rocks from several dozen postholes, carrying them via buckets to a restoration area, and carrying wet concrete, cable and large welded posts to the individual sites. This extremely heavy, labor-intensive work was all accomplished while literally tiptoeing around blooming, tiny (1-3cm) Dudley Bluffs bladderpod plants, a threatened mustard species.
Brian Kurzel, CNAP Volunteer Coordinator, is a remarkable botanist in his own right. And, he and his crew of volunteers and a staff member drove several hours to the work site, camped several nights, and provided leadership and initiative beyond their already high level of commitment to the White River Field Office ACEC/Natural Areas Program. “BLM would have been unable to achieve a successful road closure for this threatened plant population without the help of CNAP,” said Kent Walter, BLM White River Field Office Manager. “In addition, Brian’s commitment to assuring long-term rare plant monitoring in the heart of the energy development of the Piceance Basin has provided BLM with an invaluable body of work now spanning over a decade. He has a pro-active approach to trust, commitment and shared stewardship responsibility with and for BLM among people and institutions,” Walter said.
The Public Lands
Foundation is pleased to present Brian Kurzel and Colorado Natural
Area Program volunteers with its 2009 Landscape Stewardship
Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation for invaluable
contributions to the stewardship of America’s public landscapes.
/s/ George Lea
September 12, 2009