Outstanding Public Lands Professional Awards - 2019
The Public Lands Foundation is proud to present the 2019 Outstanding Public Lands Professional Award in the Technical/Operational category to Paul Summers, a hydro-geologist at the BLM National Operations Center, Denver, Colorado.
Paul has had an outstanding 50-year career in the BLM and is recognized as a national ground-water expert. Paul is a one of a kind expert in the scarce skill category whose work has had an enormous impact on multiple use decisions. He has quietly fostered a long-lasting appreciation of the importance of ground water to water dependent ecosystems in more arid landscapes.
Paul has demonstrated outstanding professionalism in addressing and resolving ground-water supply issues in remote areas of all 11 contiguous western states. The Washington Office has often relied on Paul’s expertise; most recently in the development of a BLM Water Resources Manual. When ground water issues emerge in Washington Office business, Paul, as the sole ground water expert in the BLM, is typically consulted.
In 2018, Paul provided extensive ground-water expertise to Utah’s West Desert District in support of potassium lease development (Mineral Leasing Act). Paul’s contributions were critical to the assessment of impacts from pumping of the brines and in developing a hydrologic monitoring operations plan. Paul has also recently completed a report to document the application of a ground water flow model which is important in development scenario modeling for Powder River Basin oil and gas production.
Throughout Paul’s career and in particular, during the past decade of escalating conflicts between water supply and resource development, Paul has demonstrated steady perseverance in assisting BLM line managers and specialists in improving their analysis and decisions that are complicated by the interplay of use authorizations, drought, climatic variation, and evolving water regulations.
Paul Summers’ contributions to BLM multiple use analyses and alternatives have added value, technical rigor, and validity to BLM decisions and to the long-term sustainability of lands administered by the BLM. In his modest and quiet manner, and with the heart of a teacher, Paul has quietly fostered a long-lasting appreciation throughout the BLM of the importance of ground water to water dependent ecosystems in more arid landscapes.
Because of his commitment to public land management, the Public Lands Foundation recognizes Paul Summers with its Outstanding Public Lands Professional Award in the Technical/Operational category for 2019.
October 28, 2019