Lifetime Service Award - 2009
The Public Lands Foundation presents to Vince Hecker, posthumously, it’s Lifetime Service Award. The Foundation provides this award to deserving members who have perpetuated and enhanced the proud tradition of public service. Vince Hecker exemplified that tradition through 31 years of service in the management and protection of the public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Vince Hecker was born in Forsyth, Montana on December 1, 1932, and was raised in Sumatra, Montana. He graduated from Montana State College, which later became Montana State University (MSU), where he majored in Economics, and later received a Masters Degree from MSU.
Vince began his BLM career as a Land Appraiser in Lewistown, Montana in 1963, and later transferred to Portland, Oregon and Boise, Idaho to work in the BLM’s Lands and Realty Programs. He moved to the BLM’s Washington, D. C. Headquarter’s Office in 1967, where he was assigned to the Bureau’s Division of Lands. He helped establish the Bureau’s Lands and Minerals Training School in Phoenix, and served as one of the original instructors in this “L & M School” which later evolved into the BLM’s National Training Center. He became the BLM’s Alaska Program Manager and provided leadership during what was the most significant time for developing Alaska public land management regulations, policies, and guidance to implement a variety of legislation passed by Congress. He was the Department of the Interior’s lead person in implementing the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. In 1975, he was assigned to the Minerals Division in the BLM. Vince retired in 1994, as BLM’s Chief, Division of Lands and Realty.
Vince Hecker’s career was one of honor and integrity. He welcomed challenges with dedication of purpose and service. He was well known throughout the BLM and in the other federal and state agencies, organizations, and interest groups who were involved with the public lands. He possessed a strong ethic for customer service within and outside the BLM, and received many awards during his career.
Vince Hecker was a lifetime member of the Public Lands Foundation. He served as a member of the PLF’s Board of Directors, and assisted with PLF business activities at the PLF’s National Office in Washington, D. C. He passed away on November 2, 2007, in Gainesville, Virginia.
The Public Lands Foundation is honored to recognize Vince Hecker with this Lifetime Service Award.
The Award was made posthumously at the PLF Annual Meeting in Billings, Montana on September 11, 2009.