Lifetime Service Award

Walter H. Horning
Walter H. Horning
The Public Lands Foundation has awarded Walter Horning its  Outstanding Public Land Service Posthumous Award.  This award is given for the purpose of perpetuating and enhancing the proud tradition of dedicated public service in the Bureau of Land Management and in recognition of Walter Horning’s deportment as a Bureau of Land Management role model.

Walter Horning, 1892 – 1961  Following the passage of the Oregon-California (O&C) Sustained Yield, Multiple-use Act of 1932, the first such Act in US. history, Walter Horning was directed by the Secretary of Interior in 1938 to become Chief Forester of the O & C  Administration in Portland, Oregon. He quickly established an outstanding decentralized organization of dedicated young professionals and challenged his District people and his staff to develop their own solutions and procedures geared to conditions on the ground without traditional top down procedural manuals.  He asked his people for initiative, resourcefulness and an all out effort and he got it.  Esprit de corps was very high in the O&C administration.

In 1946 the O&C administration became a part of the newly formed Bureau of Land Management.  Walter was made Regional Administrator with headquarters in Portland, Oregon.  In 1952 he became the Forestry Chief in the Washington Office.  In 1960, then past 68 years of age, Walter and his wife Ruth retired to Portland where he passed away suddenly in the fall of 1961.

Walter was literally the father of BLM’s forestry program, forestry in the most enlightened sense, encompassing all resources found in the forest ecosystem.  He had high expectations and high ideals  and was respected and looked up to by all those his life touched.

The Public Lands Foundation is a non-profit organization of retired but still dedicated BLM employees.  The purpose of the Foundation is to foster sound management of the public lands and to encourage high standards of professionalism.

The Award was made posthumously at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon in September 1993.