Outstanding Public Lands Professional Awards - 2000

Technical/Operational Category

Jenny Saunders
Jenny Saunders

JENNY L. SAUNDERS, Realty Officer and Chief of the Branch of Realty and Appraisal, Colorado State Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Lakewood, Colorado, has been named Outstanding Public Land Professional, Technical Specialist for 2000 by the Public Lands Foundation.

Foundation President George Lea announced the selection, which recognizes Saunders’ outstanding career performance as an adjudicator, para-legal specialist, and realty specialist in BLM’s Lands and Minerals Programs where she was instrumental in the successful completion of high-value competitive oil and gas sales and several extremely complex and controversial realty cases, including the rights-of-way for the Foothills Project and Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon.

Saunders came to work in the Colorado State Office in 1974 and worked through the ranks twenty years to reach her present position.  While working full time for BLM she attended law school and graduated with a Juris Doctor degree in 1981; she was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1982.  This personal effort continues to be of great benefit to BLM in the interpretation and administration of federal and state laws governing lease and sale of federal lands and acquisition of private lands within Colorado.  BLM has called on her expertise numerous times, asking her to serve on task forces and study groups to develop regulations, guidance, and national procedures.  She helped design the lands and realty training curriculum at the National Training Center and served for seven years as an instructor in various lands and realty courses.  She has provided leadership and supervisory  oversight for realty data management activities necessary to successfully automate BLM’s lands and minerals records  and served on BLM’s team to implement the Inspector General’s report on land exchanges in Nevada.

Ms. Saunders exemplifies the important contributions BLM and other federal employees make to their communities.  She was recognized for superior achievement and outstanding leadership in the Combined Federal Campaign, served as a merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts for ten years, was active in Little League baseball twenty years, named Colorado’s Little League Volunteer of the Year, volunteered for Special Olympics, and established and directed the Challenger Baseball Program for mentally and physically challenged youth in the north-Denver metropolitan area.

“This is an example of a professional career employee’s willingness to chart a new concept in outstanding public service both on and off the job,” Lea said.  “All too often the public does not appreciate the contributions of many thousands of hard-working federal career employees.  We hope this recognition of Jenny’s work will help the real owners of the public lands to better understand and appreciate the high ideas and integrity that BLM employees bring to the difficult task of daily management and protection of public lands.  We want the public to know how lucky they are to have employees like Jenny.  She has made a difference.”