Lifetime Service Award - 2012

D. Dean Bibles
D. Dean Bibles

The Public Lands Foundation grants to D. Dean Bibles its Lifetime Service Award for excellence in public land management.  The Foundation provides this award to deserving members who have perpetuated and enhanced the proud tradition of public service.  Dean exemplifies that tradition through a lifetime of service in managing and protecting the public lands.

Dean was born and raised in Texas, and graduated from Texas A&M University in 1957 with a degree in Range Management. He joined the Bureau of Land Management as a Range Conservationist at Lander, Wyoming in June 1957, and retired as an Assistant to the Secretary of the Department of the Interior in Washington, D. C., in 1997.

During the intervening 40 years, Dean served in a variety of BLM management positions – Range Manager at Lander and Worland, Wyoming; Assistant District Manager at Burley, Idaho; District Manager at Billings, Montana, at Susanville, California, and at Boise, Idaho; Assistant Director, Land Resources in the BLM Headquarters Office in Washington, D.C.; and State Director in Arizona and Oregon/Washington.

Dean’s career has been filled with accomplishments that have helped protect public land resources and strengthened BLM’s image wherever he has served.   Dean was one of the key BLM leaders during the 1970s – 1990s who helped the Bureau evolve from a range and forestry/lands and minerals agency into the multiple use management agency that is now, focused on public values, public uses and environmental concerns.

In Arizona, Dean was a leader in creating BLM’s first statewide Wilderness Bill.   He initiated land exchange programs with State and private land owners to acquire lands for the creation of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, and the Agua Fria National Monument, which are now major components of the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System in Arizona.

In Oregon, Dean led the development of Resource Management Plans utilizing biological diversity for the six western Oregon BLM Districts for the 1990s; he established the BLM’s Pacific Forest and Basin Rangeland Systems Cooperative Research Unit at Oregon State University; and he helped create the BLM’s National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center near Baker City, and the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area near Newport.

Dean finished his career in 1997 in Washington D.C., as Assistant to the Secretary of the Interior, helping to develop policies for acquiring environmentally sensitive lands, and working with the Department of State as Chairman of the United States National Committee for the “Man in the Biosphere Program.”  He also served on UNESCO’s Advisory Committee for Biosphere Reserves.

Dean has received many honors and awards during his career, including the Secretary’s Meritorious and Distinguished Service Awards, the Presidential Meritorious Executive, and the Presidential Distinguished Executive Awards.

During the BLM’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in 1996, the Public Lands Foundation made Decadal Awards to an outstanding BLM employee in each of the five decades of BLM’s history.  Selection of award winners was based on the following criteria: 1) demonstration of outstanding performance having national significance and broad public interest, 2) deportment as a BLM role model, 3) service leaving a recognized legacy, and 4) demonstration of courage in initiative to enhance public stewardship.  Dean was chosen by a joint PLF-BLM team to receive the PLF’s Decadal award for the 1986 – 1996 Decade.

The Public Lands Foundation is honored to now recognize Dean Bibles with this Lifetime Service Award, presented this day, September 14, 2012, at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting in Boulder, Colorado.