Outstanding Public Lands Professional Awards - 2017

Manager/Managerial - Administrative Category

Glen Guenther
Brian Steed, BLM Deputy Director, Policy and Programs (l) and PLF Director John Fend present the award to Glen Guenther.

The Public Lands Foundation is proud to present the 2017 Outstanding Public Land Professional Award in the Managerial/Administrative category to Glen Guenther, Upper Snake Assistant Field Manager. Throughout his career, Glenhas demonstrated a commitment to public land management, including responding positively to customer concerns, balancing the agency’s mission to appropriately manage natural resources with the desires of various competing interests, and assertively defending the agency’s position in the face of increasing political pressures and lawsuits. His initiatives have proven effective despite declining budgets and increased challenges through litigation.

With Glen’s exemplary relationship with the ranching community, and his ability to have critical conversations, permittees and BLM were able to come to an agreement for a 30% reduction in grazing for 2014, in response to persistent drought. Because each allotment and grazing operation is unique, Glen and the range specialists he supervises worked one-on-one with all the grazing permittees to design a grazing plan that worked for each specific allotment. Everyone agreed that it was important to do what was right for the land, even if that meant taking a financial hit. Getting over 200 permittees to agree to a reduction without the threat or need for a field manager decision was nothing short of a miracle.

Glen’s knowledge of the grazing program is known far and wide. Due to his expertise, he was selected to join a national team to develop outcome-based grazing strategies for the bureau. In 2017, he spent days in Reno assisting his peers in crafting policies and procedures that would allow flexibility and creativity in grazing management. As Jeremy Casterson, Upper Snake Field Manager, states, “Glen’s ability to find creative solutions to problems and think outside the box is hands down one of the most valuable leadership traits he brings to our organization.”

Glen exhibits a proactive approach in the development of his employees.  He allows them to take risks, assume leadership no matter what their grade level, and encourages them to think outside the box, which has resulted in a can-do attitude among his staff. His staff of 11 are committed to public land management largely in part due to Glen’s tutelage. Glen works to foster growth within his own organization by advocating and supporting the use of other opportunities to initiate staff progression. He allows his employees opportunities to take on difficult projects while providing a good sense of work/life balance.

Glen recruits, retains, and develops employees who will carry forward his high standards for public land management.  Besides his efforts to develop his employees, Glen is also interested in helping the bureau run more efficiently. He continues to teach grazing classes to young range management specialists in the bureau and uses his expertise to draft policies and procedures that make sense in the field.

Glen possesses a forthright character that “tells it like it is.” This approach has served him well in interactions with employees, peers, and community members on actions throughout the Field Office. He demonstrates an ability to cut to the heart of an issue, look for potential weaknesses, explore various possible solutions, and then talk those solutions through with affected parties.  He is a firm defender of public lands and the interests of the BLM and fosters those same qualities in his staff.

Because of his commitment to public land management, the Public Lands Foundation recognizes Glen Gunther with its Outstanding Public Lands Professional Award in the Managerial/Administrative category for 2017.

Edward Shepard
April 12, 2018