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Foundation President George Lea announced the selection crediting Binando with outstanding and relentless dedication by insisting that the highest of professional standards were followed in the accomplishment of numerous land exchanges over the years.
"Jim put his career on the line while exhibiting great patience in completing these land trades, often under adversarial and controversial conditions," Lea said. "Most recently Jim directed the land withdrawal of over 20,000 acres to prevent mining in an area adjacent to the Yellowstone National Park and the Sweetgrass Hills mineral withdrawal while interacting with native tribes involving cultural and sacred values.
"Accomplishing these land actions has not been easy," Lea said. "Jim has shown exemplary courage and risk-taking in directing the complex procedures leading to solutions. For example, Jim was the key person in the acquisition of land for the Pompey's Pillar Historic Monument, the only physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Jim is currently directing BLM's involvement in the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial which will begin in 2004. This is another example of a professional career employee's willingness to chart new directions in protecting natural resources," Lea said. "All too often the public does not appreciate the contributions that many thousands of hard-working federal career employees make in protecting and managing the public lands. We hope this recognition of Jim's work will help the real owners of these lands better understand and appreciate the high ideals and integrity that BLM employees bring to this difficult task each day. We want the public to know how lucky they are to have employees like Jim."