Lifetime Service Award

Joseph T. Fallini
Joseph T. Fallini

The Public Lands Foundation grants to Joseph T. Fallini, posthumously, it’s Outstanding Lifetime Service Award. The Foundation provides this award to deserving members who have perpetuated and enhanced the proud tradition of public service.  Joe exemplifies that tradition through a lifetime of service in managing and protecting the public lands.

Joe T. Fallini was born in Idaho and graduated in 1939 with a degree in Forestry from the University of Idaho. He served as a Commissioned Officer in the Army Signal Corps from 1941 to 1944.  He returned to the Idaho Falls District as a Range Conservationist in 1945, and was appointed District Manager. Joe moved to the BLM Area Office in Portland in 1950, as Range Conservationist for the Oregon/Washington/Idaho Area, and joined the Range Staff in the BLM Washington Office in 1956. He served as BLM Idaho State Director from 1959 to 1970, and BLM Arizona State Director from 1970 to 1974.  After a brief retirement, he was appointed State Land Commissioner for Arizona and served in this capacity from 1980 to 1983.

Joe’s public land management career with the Federal government spanned a critical 33 year period during which management on  the public lands evolved from rancher-dominated Grazing Districts to BLM professional range conservationists and foresters which later grew into multiple use management by a wide range of natural and cultural resource management specialists. During the same period the historic land disposal programs of the General Land Office were being phased out and the BLM was struggling to establish itself as a multiple use management agency.

Joe T. Fallini was one of the leaders in the BLM who helped prepare the guidelines, expand the work force and made needed changes happen.  Six years after his retirement from BLM, Arizona Governor Babbitt appointed Joe T. Fallini as Arizona State Land Commissioner for the primary purpose of converting the Arizona State Land Department from a land disposal operation to natural resource and realty management agency. Joe’s early career with the Grazing Service and BLM was spent working on the land and with the cattle and sheep operators to reduce overgrazing, settle disputes between operators, and implement the new rules and regulations for livestock grazing and Grazing Districts. In Washington he helped develop guidelines, manuals, policies and procedures for the Bureau’s range program.

As State Director in Idaho and Arizona, he excelled as a problem solver and a manager of people and programs in a growing and changing Bureau of Land Management. In retirement, he took his experience and management ability to the Arizona State Land Department to reorganize and redirect that agency’s resource management and realty programs.

Joe T. Fallini was a low-profile person who was very reluctant to “toot his own horn.”  He once said, “I cannot take personal credit for whatever achievements were made during my career; it was a team effort by the dedicated employees in state and district offices. Joe considered his main achievement in Idaho was the completion of the range adjudication program.  As the Arizona State Director he considered his main efforts included the elimination of most of the occupancy trespasses along the Lower Colorado River, and obtaining public access to the Aravaipa Canyon Primitive Area.

Joe had an exceptional ability to work with people; he had a strong desire to solve problems, he was dedicated to doing what was right for the land and the land users, and he was a motivator and mentor to his employees. These traits earned him the respect and affection of those who worked for and with him throughout his career. Joe did not seek personal recognition or honor, but he was pleased when, in a July 18, 1997, dedication ceremony, the new BLM campground at the Mackay Reservoir near Mackay, Idaho was named the “Joe T. Fallini Campground”.

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

The award was made posthumously at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona in September, 2005.