Lifetime Service Award - 2004

Burton W. Silcock
Burton W. Silcock

BURT SILCOCK devoted 34 years to the wise use of the of the Nation’s natural resources. After a year with the SCS in Texas as a Ranch Planner, He joined BLM to work on the Missouri River Basin Studies. He soon became the Lander Wyoming District Asst District Manager and later served as DM for the Pinedale and the Worland Districts.

As a Wyoming Manager he was involved in grazing adjustments and erosion and flood control projects. In 1959 Burt became the Range and Forestry Officer for the Idaho State Office where he worked to upgrade BLM’s fire fighting capabilities and to guide grazing adjudications and the emerging forestry program:

A new assignment took him to Cheyenne as Asst. State Director in charge of the Land Office and the Lands and Minerals program. His experience in three Districts and two state offices took him next to Alaska as the State Director. During his six years there, he managed an aggressive classification program under the C&MU Act encompassing 32 million acres on 32 tracts. He also guided a modernization of Alaska’s Fire Program. He was also the Interior Secretary’s representative on the Joint Canada-US study of the Yukon River. In June 1971 Burt became the National BLM Director. During the next two years he steered BLM through the turbulence of implementing the National Environmental Policy Act, the Wild Horse and Burro Act, as well as keeping alive the Federal Organic Act for BLM. He continued to have Alaskan ties including the Pipeline and the proposed Native Claims Settlement Act. Burt returned to Alaska 1973 to be the Co-Chair of the Joint Federal-State Land Use Planning Commission. In that role he was instrumental in developing recommendations that would guide land conveyances the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and other land and resource issues. He retired in 1977.

On his return to Idaho he worked with the Ore-Ida Boy Scout Council and became active in the Oregon-California Trail Association. He worked with BLM and the Idaho State Historical Society to locate and mark these pioneer wagon trails. He participated in the commemorative wagon train that crossed the west, ending in Oregon.

Burt has been recognized for his many services including the Interior Secretary’s Excellence of Service Award, the Presidential Management Improvement Award and American Motor’s Conservation Award. Utah State University gave him their Distinguished Service Award in 1984 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

The award was presented at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting in Boise, Idaho in September, 2004.