2011 CAPE Awards: Celebrating milestones in conservation for our public lands

Squaw Lake Arizona


America is home to nearly 250 million acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Those acres fall outside of our National Parks, Forests and Wildlife Refuges. Managing these lands for the multiple uses they have been set aside for can be a challenge. To honor the leadership and commitment to conservation of these lands, The Wilderness Society’s BLM Action Center annually compiles a year-end list of the greatest achievements in BLM land management. The result is our CAPE Awards.

The Comparative Analysis of Particular Excellence (CAPE) rating system, inspired by the superhero-like character of the Action Center team (able to leap tall stacks of Resource Management Plans in a single bound), ranges from one CAPE on the low end (worth a pat on the back) to five CAPEs on the high end (HUGE PROGRESS-- WAY TO GO!).

The BLM Action Center and our partners spend most of the year monitoring the BLM’s proposed plans for our public lands and taking the agency to task to ensure our most treasured landscapes, fragile species and irreplaceable cultural artifacts are given the protection they deserve.

Through this work we build relationships with BLM staff, and it gives us great pleasure to take this opportunity to acknowledge the important work they do for public land conservation. It’s a good reminder for all of us who care about our public lands that there are positive changes happening out there.

From protecting our national monuments to reforming oil and gas policies to promoting responsible renewable energy development, the BLM has accomplished many things this year that can help safeguard our western wildlands for future generations. So next time you’re enjoying your favorite BLM landscape, take a minute to remember these actions the agency has taken to keep it wild!

To view our full report on the CAPE awards and this year's awardees, click here.


Comparative Analysis of Particular Excellence (CAPE) 2011 Awardees


Lander Draft RMP Strikes a Balance  (4 CAPEs)
Recipient: Lander Field Office

BLM Releases 15-year Strategy for National Landscape Conservation System  (4 CAPEs)
Recipient: BLM NLCS Office

Greater Grand Canyon Gets a Reprieve from Mining  (4 CAPEs)
Recipient: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

States Begins Implementation of the Oil and Gas Leasing Reforms (3 CAPEs)
Recipient: Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah state offices

Rangers Lead by Example in the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument (3 CAPEs)
Recipient: Monument River Rangers

Supplement to Draft Solar PEIS Helps Guide Projects to Low-conflict Areas (3 CAPEs)
Recipient: Ray Brady, Linda Resseguie, Shannon Stewart

Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Draft Communication Site Plan – A Plan for a Monument (2 CAPEs)
Recipient: CSNM Management Staff

Draft Plan for the Sonoran Desert Uses Innovation to Address Management Concerns (2 CAPEs)
Recipient: Lower Sonoran Field Office and Sonoran Desert National Monument Staff

New Travel Planning Manual Requires an Interdisciplinary Approach (2 CAPEs)
Recipient: BLM National Recreation Office

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument Reduces Damage from Routes (1 CAPE)
Recipient: CSNM Management Staf

Honorable Mention

These projects are headed in the right direction, but there is still much work to be done! We hope to see these “honorable mentions” make the top ten list next year and earn some CAPEs.

Bighorn Basin Draft RMP Starts Strong but Falls Short on Wilderness-quality Lands
Recipient: Bighorn Basin RMP Planning Team

BLM Provides Needed Policy Guidance for Wind and Solar Development; Good Implementation is Key
Recipient: Mike Nedd, Assistant Director, Minerals and Realty Management