Landscape Stewardship Certificates of Appreciation - 2015

Left to right: Dan Brunkhorst (Planning and Environmental Coordinator, BLM Dakotas Lewistown Field Office); Josh Barta (Range Technician, BLM Central Montana District); Tim Browning; Tom Browning; Katie Decker (Rangeland Management Specialist, BLM Dakotas Lewistown Field Office); and Dave Mari (PLF Director-at-Large).

The Public Lands Foundation presents the Browning Family with a 2015 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation.  The Foundation grants this recognition to honor private citizens and organizations that work to advance and sustain community-based stewardship on landscapes that include, in whole or in part, public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The Brownings — Tim and Sara Browning and Tom and Karen Browning — have been great advocates for the Central Montana District prescribed fire program and are promoting the benefits of these treatments at local grazing district meetings and in their daily dealings with neighbors and community.

The Browning Family, along with non-governmental organizations, has enabled the implementation of a series of landscape-scale prescribed fires and mechanical treatments in which the BLM plans to treat 160,000 acres of forested areas that are unnaturally dense due to fire suppression over the past 100 years.

The Browning Family started working with the BLM during the planning phases of the project in 2005, with interest in sound management on the land.  They continued participation with the first project being implemented in 2009.  Since then, five prescribed burns totaling over 15,000 acres have been implemented. Four of these burns involved their grazing allotments. In addition, the Browning Family has been willing to incorporate approximately 1,530 acres of their private land into these treatments to improve cost effectiveness, and safety during project implementation.  Their commitment to stewardship and sound management is quite apparent.  And, this cooperation and support has been vital to the success the BLM has enjoyed over the past ten years.

The building of trust and commitment is not an easy or quick process. The shared sense of stewardship responsibility that the BLM and Browning Family share has led to significant project implementation successes that have improved the health of the land and the wildlife upon it, while protecting the fire fighters and first responders who work to manage the many natural fire starts which occur in the area. These accomplishments and successes have not gone unnoticed in the local communities and are allowing the BLM to build new relationships and increase trust in existing relationships.

The efforts of the Browning Family and their willingness to share their story are leading to additional support for the prescribed fire program by neighboring ranches.

The Public Lands Foundation is pleased to present Tim and Sara Browning and Tom and Karen Browning with a 2015 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation for invaluable contributions to the stewardship of America’s public landscapes.

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Edward W. Shepard, President
September 22, 2015