Lifetime Service Award

Irving Senzel
Irving Senzel

The Public Lands Foundation grants to Irving Senzel, posthumously, it’s Lifetime Service Award.  The Foundation makes this award to deserving persons who have perpetuated and enhanced the proud tradition of dedicated public service in the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) stewardship of the public lands.

Irving Senzel was a native of Rochester, New York, born on January 9,1914.

He graduated from the University of Rochester in 1935, with a degree in economics and academic honors.  He did graduate work and spent his working career in the Washington, D.C. area.   He joined the former General Land Office in Washington as a Statistician in 1939.  When he retired in 1975, he was the Bureau of Land Management’s Assistant Director for Legislation and Plans.   He was a founding member of the Public Lands Foundation, and was the PLF President-elect at the time of his death on March 18, 1993.

Irving Senzel was not a lawyer, but he had a great natural aptitude for law and a deep personal concern for the public interest and the environment.  He was an authority on the laws and regulations of the BLM and Department of the Interior, and he had a wealth of knowledge on the historical, legislative, research and program aspects of the Bureau.  In the 1960s and 1970s, he was a major contributor to the changes in the land disposal policies and regulations, which enabled the Bureau of Land Management to evolve from a land disposal agency to a land management agency.  He helped solidify these changes by his work for the Bureau, the Department and the Congress in the drafting and enactment of the Classification and Multiple Use Act of 1964, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, and the federal public land laws for the State of Alaska.  Irving Senzel loved the mission and the people of the BLM.  He left a legacy both in the legislation and the regulations, which he helped, formulate, and in the changes in the culture of the BLM which he helped shape by his leadership and personal example.

In 1964, the Department of the Interior recognized Irving Senzel by giving him the Department’s Distinguished Service Award.  In 1996, during the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the BLM, the Public Lands Foundation designated an outstanding BLM employee for each of the Bureau’s five decades, and Irving Senzel received the Decadal Award for the 1966 – 1975 Decade.

The Public Lands Foundation, at its Annual Meeting in October 2007, is honored to recognize Irving Senzel with this Lifetime Service Award. 10/26/2007