Lifetime Service Award - 2020

A. Ray Keller
Ray Keller with plaque from PLF
A. Ray Keller
PLF belt buckle
A. Ray Keller
Collage of Ray's career
A. Ray Keller
Ray in BLM firefighter mode

The Public Lands Foundation grants to A. Ray Keller its Lifetime Service Award for excellence in public land management.  The Foundation provides this award to deserving BLM employees who have perpetuated and enhanced the proud tradition of public service.

Ray is a longtime resident of New Mexico. He began working for the BLM in 1976 and spent his 42-year career exclusively in the Pecos District of southeast New Mexico.  From the beginning, Ray’s range monitoring innovations fueled his passion for landscape-scale restoration efforts which included treatment of noxious weeds and oil field related reclamation efforts.

Ray worked tirelessly to participate in meetings, give talks, and lead tours of Restore New Mexico projects.  His ability to create and nurture partnerships has been recognized through numerous awards.  These partnerships include Soil and Water Conservation Districts, road departments, oil and gas companies, grazing permittees, and various conservation groups.  Ray’s nomination for this award cites him as “…the driving force behind the collaborative efforts of all of these incredibly diverse groups.”  He is also recognized for generating “…trust and a sense of shared stewardship among the local citizenry as well as various agencies working in the region….”

Ray’s ability to find common ground and facilitate the Restore New Mexico Program resulted in restoration of Lesser Prairie Chicken habitat to the extent the species has not been listed as endangered.

The Public Lands Foundation is honored to recognize Ray Keller with this Lifetime Service Award presented in 2020.

Edward Shepard
September 18, 2020