Lifetime Service Award - 2003
Howard R. DeLano was born July 4, 1913, in Elmonica Station in northwest Oregon. He graduated from Oregon State University with a Forestry Degree in 1939, and began a career of public land management that spanned 34 years, until his retirement in 1972. He advanced from a professional range examiner with the US Grazing Service in eastern Oregon, to Assistant Grazier, Baker District, before enlisting in the Navy where he served as a naval officer in the Aleutians.
Returning to the Grazing Service, which became a part of the new Bureau of Land Management (BLM), he was appointed Assistant Vale District Manager, then Acting Jordan Valley District Manager, Acting Vale District Manager, and in 1953, was appointed Burns District Manager. During these years he was highly successful in carrying out grazing administration, range adjudication, soil and water improvements, land exchanges and other district duties to improve the condition and proper utilization of the public’s lands. He was especially successful in obtaining range user and other public’s cooperation in these activities, and in training and developing District employees in the proper conduct of the public’s business. Examples of his achievements while in District management include land exchanges to benefit water needs for servicing the rangelands, the proposal for a Steens Mountain Access Route to benefit all members of the public, the withdrawal of key areas for future recreation use, and the emphasis on completing range adjudication, eliminating livestock and other trespass, and improving range conditions through range reseedings, livestock and wildlife water facilities, and needed allotment and boundary fences. He was especially instrumental in working with the Congressional delegation and others in helping propose and obtain the Vale Project, one of the Nation’s most significant, nationally support land management programs.
In 1958, he was assigned to the BLM Area Office in Portland with staff responsibility for the soil and moisture programs in Oregon, California, and Washington. Upon closure of the Area Office, he was appointed Chief of Range Management, Watershed, and Wildlife in the BLM’s Oregon State Office with staff responsibilities in Oregon and Washington. During his tenure, he emphasized the selection in his staff of key natural resource specialists in wildlife, soils, hydrology, and recreation, and created a multiple use-oriented staff which was to help lead the BLM in range, forest, water and human activity resources. During this time he also served on a detail to Nigeria to help advance BLM activities in aiding that country’s resource management program.
Upon leaving government service, Howard has continued to closely follow the course of public land management and having an influential voice with members of the professional societies, the rangeland users, and the public, has often raised the voice of reason on controversial land management subjects. He has served as the President of the NW Section of the Society of Range Management, as President of the Portland Chapter of the Soil Conservation Society, as President of the Western Oregon Hereford Association, and of the Clackamas County Livestock Association, and as Vice President of the Oregon Cattleman’s Association, all offices in which he has been able to advocate and emphasize the need for proper management of the BLM lands.
He is now President of the Oregon Gelbvieh Association, and he continues to maintain a significant number of prize-winning livestock on his ranch in western Oregon. He maintains close contact with BLM employees and retirees and land users, and is extremely well regarded by all. His career has been significant; he has made a positive impact on the public’s lands, especially in the Northwest, but his influence has been far reaching in terms of the national BLM programs, During all this time, he has been and is regarded as an excellent family man and friend. He is well qualified and deserving of the recognition by the Public Lands Foundation for its Outstanding Lifetime Service Award.
The Award was presented at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting in Eugene, Oregon on September 19, 2003.