Outstanding Public Lands Professional Awards - 1993
Manager/Managerial - Administrative Category
VERNON LYNN SALINE, Manager of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) San Simon Resource Area in the Safford District in southeast Arizona has been named Outstanding Public Land Professional for 1993 by the Public Lands Foundation.
Foundation President George Lea announced the selection crediting Saline with outstanding courage and hard work in resolving long standing grazing and other resource management issues on several grazing allotments. The effort involved a number of grazing trespass and livestock impoundment actions over more than four years in an effort to enforce grazing regulations and to protect the vegetative and riparian resources of the allotment.
“Lynn has put his career and personal safety ‘on the line’ while exhibiting great patience and professionalism in resolving a long standing argument over BLM’s authority to manage the public land,” Lea said. “This has not been easy. Lynn has shown exemplary personal courage and risk taking in tackling the problem.”
BLM had been having problems with several grazing allottees for over ten years, involving grazing trespass, unauthorized modification and removal of range improvements, damage to riparian areas and refusal to comply with the terms and conditions of their grazing permits. In addition, two of the allottees had claimed 60,000 acres of public land as their own, and recorded it with the appropriate county recorders. Lynn took action and as a result of his tenacity in the face of strong opposition and personal threats, has resolved most of the problems. “This is one of the more complicated, controversial and hostile management climates of the many BLM resource areas in the west,” Lea said. Adding to the difficulty there were personal property liens placed on Saline, the District Manager, as well as other federal employees. These personal attacks, which have now been dropped, followed a 1992 livestock impoundment action.
“This is another example of a professional land manager’s willingness to chart new directions in protecting natural resources,” Lea added.