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Foundation President George Lea announced the selection, which recognizes Joe for his leadership and professionalism in playing a key role in transitioning seven BLM field offices and a National Monument into their new configurations in the Idaho Falls and Twin Falls Districts in 2004. This organizational change involved more than half of the field BLM units in Idaho and required maintaining an open and effective dialogue between BLM and its many interest groups, including 24 Idaho County Commissions, Congressional offices, and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.
Kraayenbrink was also named for his ongoing commitment to preserving open spaces throughout Southeast Idaho through the Land and Water Conservation Fund program. Working with conservation groups like The Nature Conservancy, the Teton Regional Land Trust, and The Conservation Fund, and through private donations, more than $20 million has been spent to preserve more than 14,000 acres of open space for wildlife habitat and recreation use in the region.
As the District Manager, Kraayenbrink oversees BLM field offices in Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Salmon, and Challis - each of which has very complex programs. BLM's Upper Snake Field Office in Idaho Falls manages the St. Anthony Sand Dunes and the South Fork of the Snake River, which together bring over a half million visitors to the area. BLM's Pocatello Field Office manages a very complex mineral leasing program in Idaho's phosphate patch. The Salmon and Challis Field Offices have growing recreation programs, active mining and mine reclamation programs, and valuable historic and cultural resources dating back hundreds of years.
This achievement will be permanently inscribed on the "Hall of Fame Award" plaque at the Bureau of Land Management headquarters in Washington, D. C. This is another example of a professional career employee's willingness to chart new direction in protecting and enhancing natural resources.