Lifetime Service Award - 2014

Elaine Marquis-Brong
Elaine Marquis-Brong

The Public Lands Foundation grants to Elaine Marquis Brong its Lifetime Service Award for excellence in public land management.  The Foundation provides this award to deserving members who have perpetuated and enhanced the proud tradition of public service.  Elaine exemplifies that tradition through a lifetime of service in managing and protecting the public lands.

Elaine’s Federal Government career spanned 31 years.  She served the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in California, Arizona, Eastern States and Washington, D.C. before retiring in 2006 from the State Director position in Oregon/Washington.

Elaine was hired in 1979 as a Training and Organization Development Specialist for the BLM’s Eastern States Office in 1979, and later worked there as a Program Analyst.  She served in a series of leadership positions in the BLM including Area Manager at Kingman Arizona; Branch Chief for Biological Resources and later Deputy State Director for Operations in the BLM’s California State Office; Assistant Director for Budget and Fiscal Services, and later deputy to the Assistant Director for Renewable Resources in the BLM’s Washington, D.C. Headquarters Office.  In 2002, she was appointed BLM’s Oregon/Washington State Director.

One of the highlights of Elaine’s BLM career was directing the newly formed National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) in 1999, when she focused attention on the goal of creating a system that allowed traditional uses while ensuring resource sustainability.  Elaine built the new NLCS organization based on her knowledge of organizational and personnel objectives, understanding of budget protocols and requirements, and seamlessly integrating NLCS within BLM’s structure.

As Oregon/Washington State Director she was responsible for 16 million acres of public land, leading an organization of 30 offices with a workforce of 2,000 employees, and a budget up to $250 million.  Implementing the Northwest Forest Plan in the face of ESA listings, environmental lawsuits, salmon and water quality issues made the complex job even more challenging.

During her tenure as State Director, Elaine also served as Board member of the prestigious High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon.  In retirement she has remained on the Board, and she served as Chair of the Board in 2013.  In retirement, Elaine also serves on the Board of Directors for the Conservation Lands Foundation, founded to support and advance the mission of the BLM’s newest and most innovative public land conservation system.

Throughout her career, Elaine demonstrated dedication and professionalism in the wide variety of positions she held at all levels of the BLM organization.  She was frequently tapped for her skill and expertise in strategic and workforce planning efforts for BLM.  She served on several national committees for BLM including the proposed BLM/Forest Service Interchange in 1983, the Woman’s Leadership Conference, which focused on integrating the workforce in 1987, and the BLM Summit in 1994.

She was nominated for the prestigious Presidential Rank Award in 2005.  She received the Secretarial Public Land Stewardship Award for her work in Arizona, and was honored by the Department of the Interior with the Secretarial Executive Leadership Award for outstanding career performance.

The Public Lands Foundation is honored to recognize Elaine Marquis Brong with its Lifetime Service Award.

The award was presented to Elaine Marquis-Brong by PLF President Ed Shepard at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting in Boise, Idaho on September 10, 2014.