Lifetime Service Award

Robert A. Bennett
Robert A. Bennett

The Public Lands Foundation grants Robert A. Bennett, posthumously, it’s Lifetime Service Award for excellence in public land management.  The Foundation provides this award annually to members who have continued to enhance the proud tradition of public service.   Bob has maintained this tradition throughout his career in managing public land resources and providing other services to and for the public, including the U.S. Army.

He referred to his career of over three decades as being challenging, rewarding and a privilege to work with many fine people.  Upon graduating from the University of Montana with a degree in Forestry and a masters in Silviculture and Administration he joined the Army in 1965, began his BLM career as District Environmental Coordinator in Miles City, Montana in 1973, and retired as State Director of Wyoming in 2009.  During this same period of time he served for nearly 30 years in the U.S. Army Reserves.

His career took him through many tasks and assignments. A notable few include:  coordination of oil, gas & coal industries, BLM and other agencies to develop long-term plans for guiding and understanding energy program development needs and requirements; and resolving trespass issues in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument—the first BLM National Monument that set the stage for future management guidance.  As a member of the National BLM Budget Committee, he was a strong advocate on ensuring that plans and funding were responsive to on-the-ground needs.  He also participated in some of the first Environmental Impact Statements in the Northern Powder River Basin; and, recognized as one of Bob’s greatest achievements was his efforts in the Coal program that resulted in getting Fair Market Value into the royalty rate.

Bob is known for his special efforts as a mentor of employees and BLM programs.  Those that have shared this mentoring relationship continue to praise his individual and personal interest in employees and the BLM. In his mentoring he emphasized always giving back to the Bureau.

Bennett’s many professional accomplishments, paired with his extraordinary interpersonal skills, and sincere concern for the employees of BLM made him a valuable asset to BLM and a lasting legacy in his own right.

He was honored with the Meritorious Service Award in 2006 and has received various Special Act and Outstanding Performance awards.

The Public Lands Foundation is honored to recognize Bob with this Lifetime Service Award.