Landscape Stewardship Certificates of Appreciation - 2009

Owen Garner receives Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation from PLF President Henri Bisson.Left to right: Tom Allen, Beau McClure, Henri Bisson, Owen Garner, Elaine Zielinski, and Glen Collins
Boy Scouts of America - Clean up Trash
Eagle Scout Project - May 2009
Owen Garner (center, wearing hat) instructs young volunteers on restoration efforts

THE PUBLIC LANDS FOUNDATION presents Owen Garner with its 2009 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation.  The Foundation grants this recognition to honor private citizens and organizations that work to advance and sustain community-based stewardship on landscapes that include, in whole or in part, public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

In June 2008, the BLM Phoenix District Office implemented a temporary closure of 55,000 acres within the Sonoran Desert National Monument, in an effort to restore areas heavily damaged by increased off-highway vehicle use.

Last year, Owen Garner helped plan, organize and carry out restoration-related projects within the closure.  During the course of fourteen weekends this past season, Owen contributed a substantial amount of time working closely with BLM staff and volunteers.  During these project weekends, Owen’s Mesa Company group performed educational re-enactments to as many as 150 boy scouts and other youth volunteers.  Owen then camped out with the volunteers and carried out restoration projects the following morning.  Owen assisted park rangers in demonstrating restoration techniques used to successfully rehabilitate the areas impacted by off-road travel and then worked with the volunteers to complete the projects.

Owen’s time and effort have resulted in the completion of over 90 BLM restoration projects along six miles of the historic Mormon Battalion Trail and surrounding areas.  Since the June 2008 closure, Owen was directly involved with 1,000+ volunteers participating in these projects, resulting in 2,449 volunteer hours and over $46,000 in volunteer-hour contributions.  This does not include the countless hours Owen has contributed to the Boy Scouts of America, the volunteers, and BLM.

“Owen’s passion and commitment to educating youth, as well as the restoration of this historic area for future generations to enjoy, has made a tremendous contribution to the stewardship of the Sonoran Desert National Monument,” says Melinda Mahoney, BLM Park Ranger, in her nomination of Mr. Garner for this award.  “The BLM and the public who use these lands are fortunate to have Owen Garner as a leader and teacher in this collaborative effort.”

The Public Lands Foundation is pleased to present Owen Garner with its 2009 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation for invaluable contributions to the stewardship of America’s public landscapes.

George Lea
September 12, 2009