Lifetime Service Award - 2004

Mark Lawrence, Sr.
Mark Lawrence, Sr.

MARK E. LAWRENCE SR. began his natural resource management career in June 1934 as a Blister Rust Checker with the U.S. Forest Service at Noxon, Montana and also worked as a Boundary Surveyor and Timber Cruiser on National Forests in both western Montana and northern Idaho. During the winter and spring of 1935, while doing post graduate studies in Botany at the University of Montana, he passed the Junior Range Examiner exam and was assigned as a trainee with the Soil Conservation Service In Pullman, Washington in June 1935. Mark spent most of the following five years doing range work in Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

In November 1940, due to employee reassignments between the Departments of Agriculture and Interior he was transferred to the Grazing Service working at Pocatello and Burley in Idaho  and at the Squaw Butte Range Experiment Station in Oregon where he completed the facility’s first range survey. In 1942, he took a leave of absence to assist with World War II.

During the “McCarran Leave” that began in 1946, he was detailed to the Department of Justice to complete range surveys of former Ute Indian Hunting grounds in Colorado.  Mark became a charter member of the Bureau of Land Management when it was formed in 1947.  His ability to conduct professional range surveys resulted in work in several Idaho Districts.  As with many range surveys, controversy was the norm with the ranchers but his work was upheld by the Hearings Examiners during the range adjudication hearings that followed.  Mark served as a range survey instructor for new range conservationists.  His abilities were recognized with a detail to headquarters in Washington, D.C. to prepare halogeton and range survey instructions.

Mark spent the latter part of the 1950’s, the 1960’s and early 1970’s until his retirement in 1973 in western Oregon.  There his versatility and ability as a resource professional were utilized a roles in range, forestry, fire and management.

He enjoyed history and writing and during the years 1962-73. wrote articles for BLM’s “Our Public Lands.”   Mark prepared detailed files on the unique and diverse plant communities of the Medford District and encouraged their recognition and protection. The files also became valuable to future Botanists hired by the district. He was also a member of the Siskiyou Pioneer Sites Foundation dedicated to the preservation, identification and recognition of the settlers and historical sites in southwestern Oregon.

The award was made posthumously at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting in Boise, Idaho in September, 2004.