Upper Snake River District - Group Award
Outstanding Public Lands Professional Award - 2002
PUBLIC LANDS FOUNDATION
is naming eight members of the Upper Snake River
District as Public Lands Outstanding Professional Employees for the
The group includes Bill Baker, Theresa Hanley, Andy Payne, Joe
Russell, Glen Burkhardt, John Sabala, Curtis Jensen, and Dennis Smith.
President George Lea announced the selection, which recognizes the group
for implementing the National Fire Plan on public and non-public lands in
The group is
involved in managing one of the five largest wildland fire suppression
programs in the western United States.
They used a
grassroots approach with participation from all landowners, communities,
and fire departments to reduce the frequency and size of wild fires.
The group also
took the leadership to develop and implement an effective program, with
emphasis on developing partnerships at the local level, which included
fuel treatment methods ranging from chemical to mechanical, including
South Central Idaho BLM has
established agreements with 51 local Rural Fire Departments and
distributed over one-half million National Fire Plan dollars for
equipment, training, and prevention activities since the beginning of
fiscal year 2001.
As a result of the National
Fire Plan, the group immediately put together a strategy and action plan
and has signed agreements with 16 separate communities for various
hazardous fuels reduction projects and public education for homeowners
living in the wildland-urban interface.
South Central Idaho BLM sold
22 surplus fire engines and three fire command vehicles to local fire
departments in the area for a fair market prices. This equipment
enables the rural fire departments to respond to approximately 89-percent
of BLM wildfires in the area, helping to keep fires smaller an saving
In 2000, before the inception
of the National Fire Plan, south-central Idaho BLM fuels program treated
34,938 acres. In 2002, that number increased significantly to 50,
874 acres, which accounts for 75-percent of Idaho BLM's total
accomplishment and 19-percent of the BLM fuels accomplishments nationwide.