RENO — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) presented its prestigious “Making a Difference” national volunteer awards at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on May 24 to four individuals, three couples, one group and one BLM employee for outstanding volunteer service or volunteer leadership on BLM-managed lands. Pat Bruce, a volunteer with the BLM Winnemucca District Black Rock Field Office, was the recipient of an individual award.
Bruce is the field project coordinator for the Friends of Nevada Wilderness. He has devoted six years to coordinating volunteer projects within the 10 wilderness areas and four wilderness study areas in the Black Rock, which encompass about one million acres of BLM lands. Taking long hikes into remote areas, he digitized all routes, ways and boundary features for use with Geographic Information Systems. This information is critical to the accurate inventory of current conditions on the ground. Bruce is also an active volunteer supervisor for non-wilderness projects. He and his volunteers participated in dozens of restoration, protection and education projects to benefit BLM’s Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area.
At the ceremony, BLM Director Bob Abbey expressed his appreciation for the volunteers’ work in helping the BLM fulfill its multiple-use mission.
“Our volunteers give us confidence in a bright tomorrow and are an inspiration to us all,” Abbey said. “We are sincerely grateful for their efforts, and I encourage everyone here to follow our honorees’ shining example of community service.”
In fiscal year 2011, more than 30,000 volunteers contributed more than 1.2 million hours of their time in assisting the BLM. That’s equivalent to the work of more than 690 full-time employees.
The “Making a Difference Award” is an annual award presented by the BLM that recognizes its most exceptional volunteers, whose efforts include trail repair, visitor services, habitat restoration and many other duties.