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Friends of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness (aka The Fobbits) and Gavin Hoban
In her nomination of the Friends of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness led by David Eddleston, and of Gavin Hoban, a BLM Geographic Information Specialist acting in his capacity as a private citizen, Prineville District Manager Debbie Henderson-Norton stated that the leadership and passionate hard work of all these volunteers has resulted in enhanced public understanding, appreciation and support for the newly designated 30,000-acre Oregon Badlands Wilderness Area.
Over five years Gavin Hoban, initially as Prineville BLM’s liaison, developed a strong partnership with the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) and coordinated formation of The Fobbits. Gavin moved forward, developing restoration projects needed for the Wilderness Area. Beyond his BLM work days, he contributed untold hours of personal time on projects including physical road closures, closure maintenance, fence repair, trailhead and trail adoption, signing, and development of maps and brochures. Over a period of years, he personally patrolled over 27 miles of boundaries to check for signs of off-highway-vehicle trespass. He developed work plans for specialized volunteer groups which resulted in trail development, maintenance, and substantial visitor contact. Gavin’s efforts educated neighboring and in-holding private landowners, permittees, and other interested publics on Wilderness and agency policies. Gavin’s attitude, commitment and tenacity encouraged enthusiastic interest and volunteerism. In part because of his efforts, designation of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness Area came with extensive citizen support.
At the same time The Fobbits, as a lively partner of BLM, have performed approximately 1,200 hours of volunteer work as stewards of these public lands. The organization has served as “eyes and ears” for BLM by mapping, photographing and reporting trespasses, conducting boundary patrols, and regularly patrolling 50 miles of trails. The Fobbits routinely patrolled, cleaned and repaired 6 trailheads, and they have installed trailhead kiosks and directional signs. Eight miles of road closures and closure maintenance were completed, and six miles of obsolete wildlife-hazard fencing were removed. No doubt the energy and enthusiasm of this group’s members have been an inspiration to others in the community. We note that The Fobbits have so flourished that they are now becoming a stand-alone non-profit organization.
The Public Lands Foundation is pleased to present the Friends of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness and Gavin Hoban with this Citation and a Certificate of Appreciation for their contributions to the stewardship of America’s Public Lands.
/s/ George Lea