Outstanding Public Lands Professional Awards - 2009

Technical/Operational Category

Jim Ducker
Jim Ducker
Jim Ducker
Left to right: Mat Millenbach (PLF), Cheryl McCaffrey (BLM-retired), Dick Prather (2009 Professional Managerial/Administrative Awardee), Ed Shepard (BLM State Director, OR/WA), Judy Nelson (PLF), Henri Bisson (PLF President), Jim Ducker (2009 Professional Technical/Operations Awardee), and Elaine Brong (PLF).

IM DUCKER’s outstanding dedication to completing the Northeast National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A) Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was instrumental in completing a successful oil and gas lease sale in September 2008.  Jim, as the Project Lead, coordinated the successful completion of the Supplemental EIS within 18 months of initiating the Notice of Intent in the Federal Register.

Jim has a strong personal and professional commitment to upholding policies of the United States as outlined in FLPMA.  This commitment is evident in the work he managed for the planning in the NPR-A.  He worked through several contentious issues to develop a plan that was acceptable to the public, environmental groups, and industry.  Jim led the development of performance-based Leasing Stipulations and Required Operating Procedures.  These performance-based protections allow the BLM to use adaptive management to meet the resource protection objectives identified in the Supplemental EIS.

Jim worked closely with a Subsistence Advisory Panel to incorporate their concerns in the Supplemental EIS.  The North Slope Borough was a cooperating agency in development of the Supplemental EIS and Jim, through close coordination and effective communication, ensured that the Borough’s interests were addressed.  Jim’s attention to these issues built effective working relationships with tribal and local governments that are critical to the Bureau as oil and gas activities continue in the NPR-A.

Jim ensured successful coordination with other federal, state and local agencies to satisfy the requirements of several laws, including the Endangered Species Act, Sikes Act, FLPMA, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Jim used his strong analytic and organizational skills to present the comprehensive and complex analysis in a manner that facilitated decision-making.  The analysis was used by the BLM Alaska State Director and Secretary of the Interior, who signed the Supplemental EIS Record of Decision, to make informed decisions regarding the use of oil and gas resources while balancing the needs of the environment.

Jim has demonstrated exceptional dedication to public service.  He is able to balance the needs of various publics to prepare scientifically valid analyses that truly assist in management’s decision-making.  Jim has a long history of working to support energy issues on BLM-managed lands in Alaska.  His attention to detail and strong work ethic have resulted in top-tier support to managers.  Jim’s natural curiosity and commitment to the environment are a natural match for supporting BLM’s land management mission.  His work on energy issues has set the stage for BLM-Alaska to support the nation in domestic energy production and transport.  He understands Alaska’s unique issues related to its frontier-status and harsh environments.

Jim Ducker’s work has set the stage for future planning and permitting related to energy exploration, development, and transport for BLM-Alaska and this work is worthy of being recognized as the Public Lands Foundation’s 2009 Outstanding Public Lands Professional in the Technical/Operational category.