2013 Cape Awards highlight BLM conservation achievements

Willow Creek harbors lands with wilderness characteristics and is under the management of the BLM's White River Field Office.

Soren Jespersen

This past year many promising achievements were made to conserve our spectacular wild lands. 

The BLM Action Center is thrilled to put the CAPE Awards together each year to reflect on the progress of the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) hard work in managing lands for the benefit of all Americans. The achievements highlighted in our 2013 CAPE Awards are only possible because of the noteworthy efforts of the agency's staff, involved citizens and champion partners. 

One of this year's top rated recipients is Kathy Pedrick at the BLM's Arizona State Office for finalizing statewide plans for smart solar and wind development. All the way back in January, the state office published a forward-thinking plan to identify and prioritize lands for renewable energy development in order to minimize negative impacts to sensitive wildlands and wildlife habitat. 

The plan followed upon the previously-published regional Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Solar PEIS) by creating a menu of less-sensitive lands that developers can choose from and providing them with incentives to do so. The office has begun implementing the plan with a permit application for the Maricopa Solar Park southeast of Phoenix.

This year's list is a bit trimmed down from last year's, but still commends incredible actions - including responsible renewable energy planning in the California Desert as well, conserving the iconic but imperiled greater sage-grouse, and inventorying millions of acres of western lands for wilderness characteristics. The Wilderness Society is thrilled to recognize these inspiring and important public lands initiatives. 

The Wilderness Society uses a rating system called Comparative Analysis of Particular Excellence (CAPE) - ranging from one (low) to 5 (high) - to recognize the greatest BLM leadership actions and decisions over the past year for our shared public lands.

The Wilderness Society's BLM Action Center spends much of the year holding the BLM accountable to balancing the many uses of the lands they manage. But recognizing progress toward those efforts is also important. 

Other winning projects this year include:

 

Northwest Colorado Field Offices Set the Bar for Inventorying Lands with Wilderness Characteristics
Recipient: Kent Walter, White River Field Office Manager; Wendy Reynolds, Little Snake Field Office Manager

 

BLM Takes a Stand for Conservation in the Ironwood Forest National Monument
Recipient: Claire Crow, Monument Manager

 

Regional Mitigation Guidance Provides a Landscape Approach to Offsetting Impacts
Recipients: Jim Perry, Fluid Minerals Division; Matt Preston, NLCS Division

 

Master Leasing Plans Officially Incorporated into Planning Handbook
Recipient: Minerals and Realty Management Office

 

BLM Completes Milestone on Road to Fixing West-Wide Energy Corridors
Recipient: Lucas Lucero and Joshua Hanson, BLM D.C. Office

 

Rapid Ecoregional Assessments Aim to Improve Landscape-Level Analysis
Recipient: Kit Muller, Renewable Resources and Planning Division

 

BLM Seizes Opportunity to Designate National Conservation Lands Through the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan
Recipient: Jim Kenna, BLM California State Director

 

Honorable mentions:

  • BLM Defers Oil and Gas Leasing In Sensitive Landscapes Across the West, But Threats Remain and Landscape-Level Planning is Needed
  • Draft Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation Plans Evaluate a Suite of Measures to Protect the Species
  • McCoy Solar Project Mitigation Plan Addresses Impacts to Lands with Wilderness Characteristics
  • BLM Evaluates Designating Otero Mesa ACEC in Draft Tri-County Plan

 

View more details on the awards below:

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