Lifetime Service Award
The Public Lands Foundation (PLF) grants Elaine Zielinski its Lifetime Service Award for excellence in public land management. The Foundation provides this award to deserving members who have perpetuated and enhanced the proud tradition of public service.
Ed was born in Pacific Grove, California and graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Logging Engineering. He started his career with the U. S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in June 1957, as a Forester in Medford, Oregon, working on road engineering. He later transferred to BLM’s California State Office in Sacramento, first as a Forester, and later in charge of Civil Engineering.
In 1965, Ed went to Washington, D.C. as a Program Analyst, then Budget Analyst. With his hard work, in depth knowledge of field operations, and reputation as a quick study, he moved into the critical position of BLM Budget Officer in 1969. This was a time of tremendous growth as the BLM implemented the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) passed in 1969. Ed fought for, and was successful in getting, increased funds for BLM to fulfill its increased responsibilities. His excellent reputation as a straight shooter and knowledge of the BLM and its mission made him a frequent and respected visitor to Capital Hill.
Ed moved into the position of Assistant Director for Administration in 1971. Then, in 1975, Ed was appointed State Director in California, where he served for 4 years before going back to Washington, D.C. as Associate Director, the number two position in the BLM. Again, Ed’s skills, persistence and credibility with Congress were major factors in increasing BLM budgets for the implementation of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act.
In 1981, Ed returned to California for his second tour as State Director, where he remained until his retirement in 1999. In his almost 22 years as State Director in California, Ed was on the forefront of many issues. His commitment to working with communities, local, state and other federal agencies, as well as a wide variety of interest groups, set the culture of how to conduct business in California, which remains today. He was a tireless worker, and dedicated to the BLM family.
Throughout his career, Ed was a supporter of bringing diversity into the BLM, believing that would make the agency more effective in accomplishing is mission and dealing with the wide array of constituents. He supported diversity in the program areas and saw that the BLM added expertise beyond the more traditional lands, minerals, range and forestry. He hired women and minorities who had not come up through the traditional career paths, seeing skill and potential in many people who might otherwise have been passed over. Ed was a key player in changing the face of the BLM to more closely reflect the demographics of this country.
In retirement, Ed is still willing to listen to anyone who approaches him for advice, or just wants to talk, continuing to be a force in many peoples’ careers. He also has continued to work with BLM and other entities to accomplish many land transactions for the benefit of the public.
Ed Hastey has been a major influence on the BLM, and the BLM is better for it.
The Public Lands Foundation is honored to recognize Ed Hastey with this Lifetime Service Award.