Outstanding Public Lands Professional Awards - 1996

Technical/Operational Category

Nick Reiger
Nick Reiger

NICK REIGER, Minerals Specialist for the Elko District Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the recipient of the Public Lands Foundation’s Outstanding Public Land Professional for 1996.

PLF President George Lea announced the selection crediting Nick for his outstanding relentless dedication and honesty in working with the mining industry and the public in resolving complex and nearly insurmountable problems to protect the health of the land in the largest gold mining district in the United States.

“Nick put his career on the line while exhibiting great patience and professionalism to ensure that all exploration, development, and mining activities in the Carlin Trend were carried out with no undue or unnecessary degradation of the environment.  This gold district produces 40% of the total amount of gold produced annually in the United States.  In addition, Nick’s commitment to excellence is reflected in the fact that he was the driving force behind the formation of the Carlin Trend Reclamation Group to promote innovative reclamation designed to return the land to natural land forms and plant mosaics.

“This has not been easy,” Lea said.  “Nick has shown exemplary courage and risk-taking in tackling problems that many thought were too complex to lead to solutions.  BLM is the recipient of criticism from many sides creating difficult working conditions.  Nick’s ability to deal with this level of controversy effectively gained him the respect from members of the mining industry and the environmental community.

The Elko District includes several million acres of public land with extensive multiple and significant resources and is one of the more complicated and controversial management areas in BLM.  In making the award, Lea said, “Nick’s ability to be honest and firm yet willing to  consider alternative opinions has enabled him to make progress in such a working environment.