Landscape Stewardship Awards - 2009

Dale Porter and Paul Sawyer
The California National Historic Trail Interpretive Center in Elko, Nevada

THE PUBLIC LANDS FOUNDATION presents Dale Porter and Paul Sawyer with its 2009 Landscape Stewardship Award 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).

Mr. Dale Porter and Mr. Paul Sawyer, over the past 12 years, have successfully put together and worked with a coalition of government and private entities to create and fund the construction of the California National Historic Trail Interpretive Center (CNHTIC) in Elko Nevada. Through their joint and sustained effort in working with the BLM, the City of Elko, the County of Elko, the State of Nevada, and private businesses they have created a facility that provides a vehicle through which the history of the American Western expansion (1841- 1869) is given along with the impacts that it had on the Region’s indigenous people and the natural resources between the Missouri River and California.

Once the authorizing legislation was passed, Mr. Porter and Mr. Sawyer worked closely with government partners throughout the planning process.  These activities included site selection, building design and exhibit design teams.  In addition to work in these areas, Mr. Porter and Mr. Sawyer worked with the owners of the Maggie Creek Ranch Elko, Nevada to acquire a very historic portion of the ranch that the complex now sits on.  They organized local businessmen and community leaders and formed an Advisory Board that operates through the City of Elko, City Manager’s Office and now works with CNHTIC.  Mr. Porter and Mr. Sawyer also worked with Nevada State legislators to acquire funding to identify 34 historic sites across the State and place interpretive panels at each. These panels promote the CNHTIC and encourage the public to enjoy public lands.

This commitment of a decade-long work effort has resulted in spinoff partnerships between the government and the private sector and is a testament of what can be achieved when their resources are pooled.  The efforts of these two men demonstrate that working together at the grass roots level can successfully work for the mutual benefit of protecting and preserving America’s natural and cultural resources for its citizens.

The Public Lands Foundation is pleased to present Dale Porter and Paul Sawyer with its 2009 Landscape Stewardship Award and this Citation for invaluable contributions to the stewardship of America’s public landscapes.

George Lea
September 12, 2009