Outstanding Public Lands Professional Awards - 2018

Manager/Managerial - Administrative Category

Jim Stovall
Ben Salazar, Field Representative for Senator Udall, presenting letter of recognition to Jim Stovall
Jim Stovall
PLF NM State Representative Jesse Juen presenting plaque to Jim Stovall with retired New Mexico Associate State Director Aden Seidlitz and New Mexico State Director Tim Spisak.

The Public Lands Foundation is proud to present the 2018 Outstanding Public Lands Professional Award in the Managerial/Administrative Category to Jim Stovall, District Manager, Pecos District, Roswell, New Mexico.

Mr. Stovall has served as an integral leader in the BLM’s Pecos District for the past 13-plus years. He has guided the offices through Land Use Plan revisions and amendments.  He has led the offices to their one-millionth improved acre with the RESTORE New Mexico initiative.  He has led the implementation of a new Secretarial Order that allows for the co-development of Oil/Gas and Potash in a 500,000-acre area in southeastern New Mexico.  He has pushed for giant leaps in technological innovation. He has also helped to put agreements in place that have fostered the long-term understanding of cultural resources in the area.  During all of this effort, he has promoted environmentally responsible energy development in the busiest oil and gas offices in the BLM.

Since around 2010, the Permian Basin has become one of the most active Oil and Gas basins in the United States, leading to a huge increase in Applications for Permit to Drill and Applications for Rights-of-Way in the Bureau of Land Management’s Pecos District Field Offices. This increased activity has demanded strong leadership to push for environmentally responsible energy development, while still allowing for the multiple use and sustained yield mission of the Bureau.  Mr. Stovall has been critical to the success of the two Pecos District offices over the last 13-plus years he has served as a member of the District management team, and as District Manager for the past 5 years.  During that time, he has created an environment that serves as a model of innovation, work output, and responsible land stewardship for other BLM offices.

Mr. Stovall’s leadership has proven invaluable as the Carlsbad Field Office has undertaken a revision to its 30-year old existing Land Use Plan. Balancing long-term and short-term benefits while managing public lands to best meet the needs of the American people, in a planning area rich with both energy resources, and natural resources (world-class caves, productive grasslands, habitat for unique species, rich cultural resources and heritage) is one of the ultimate land management challenges we face in the BLM.  Mr. Stovall has led this effort with a quiet confidence, courage, and a belief in his people, through changing political climates and priorities.

Mr. Stovall is a leader who inspires people to do better.  As one coworker said of him: “Jim is constantly seeking ways to make one believe they are better than they think they are.  Jim’s door is always open and he makes you feel welcome at all times.”

Because of his commitment to public land management, the Public Lands Foundation recognizes Jim Stovall with its Outstanding Public Lands Professional Award in the Managerial/Administrative category for 2018.

Edward Shepard
October 31, 2019