Lifetime Service Award

Leon R. Nadeau
Leon R. Nadeau
The Public Lands Foundation has awarded Leon (Lee) Nadeau Its Outstanding Public Lands Service Posthumous Award.  This award is given for the purpose of perpetuation and enhancing the proud tradition of Public Service in the Bureau of Land Management and in recognizing Lee’s substantial contributions to the improved well-being of the public lands.

Leon R. Nadeau (1908 – 1984 devoted his life to improved management and protection of public lands.  Beginning in 1937, Lee was among the first individuals recruited to initiate the application of scientific range management on land managed by the Grazing Service.  His early involvement was directed toward assisting the development of procedures and criteria for establishing grazing capacities and base property qualification.

In 1942 he was appointed District Grazier for the Idaho Falls District and played a pivotal role in eastern Idaho in sorting out the complexities of too many livestock, ranger qualifications, and overgrazed and over-obligated forage resources.  He had a reputation for fairness, and as a result, could make controversial decisions stick.  He was transferred to the Regional Office in Portland to oversee the Soil and Watershed Programs for the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.  During this period, substantial accomplishments of rangeland rehabilitation were accomplished as part of S&W and Halogeton Control Programs.  As a result, more than a million acres were improved by reseeding or reducing grazing pressure.

In 1961, Lee was transferred to the National Office, (Washington, DC) where he played a key role in formulating “range policy”, and providing management guidance involving the Bureau’s rangelands.  During this period, range management staffing in the field increased substantially, and funding was obtained for rehabilitation projects, such as the “Vale Project.”

From 1963 to 1967, he served as the Bureau’s Chief of Protection in the National Office.  In this position he was influential in setting the stage for significant progress in fire control and for the initial action that led to the establishment of the National  (Boise) Interagency Fire Center.

His desire to return to the West resulted in than appointment in Portland, Oregon, as Chief, Division of Technical Services.  He retired in 1970, after 39 years of Federal Service.

Along with applying his expertise to the management of public lands, Lee took a special interest in the training a development of young employees.  Many will remember Lee’s influence and assistance in their career development, and his strong ability to make them feel they were effective team members.  Lee’s unquestioned integrity, genuine concern for people and resources made him one of the outstanding figures in the Bureau’s brief history of scientific rangeland management.  Lee’s substantial contribution to the well-being of the public lands resulted from the application of his expertise and the efforts of the many individuals he influenced.

This award was made posthumously to Leon Nadeau at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting in Boise, Idaho in September, 2004.