Outstanding Public Lands Professional Awards - 1990

Manager/Managerial - Administrative Category

Richard Drehobl
Richard Drehobl

IN ANNOUNCING THE SELECTION of the 1990 Outstanding Public Lands Professional Award, George Lea, President of the Public Lands Foundation credited Richard Drehobl with outstanding work in developing one of the Agency’s first “new forestry” timber sales in western Oregon, the Blue Foot Sale, while working under extreme, heavy, and diverse public opinion.

Rich was able to bring the forest industry, environmental groups, and the Applegate Valley citizen groups to agreement on a compromise timber sale plan that met everyone’s needs while still preserving biological diversity and “getting the cut out.”

“This has not been easy,” Lea said.  “Rich has shown exemplary personal courage and risk-taking in seeking consensus among groups with strongly divergent opinions about the proper management of the public lnads and varied natural resources while ensuring that long-term adverse impacts did not occur.”

Drehobl was nominated by the Foundation’s Medford/Ashland Chapter with supporting documentation from several environmental groups and his local peers.  The Ashland Resource Area includes about 250,000 acres of Oregon and California revested railroad grant lands and public domain in southern Oregon.  Mostly forest lands, they are interspersed with private lands in a checkerboard pattern.

“It is one of the most complicated, controversial and difficult areas to manage of the many BLM resource areas in the west,” Lea said.  Within Drehobl’s jurisdiction are the cities of Medford, Ashland, and Jacksonville.  In addition to Drehobl’s creative work with the Blue Foot Sale, Lea also cited Drehobl’s proposal of interim management guidelines for timber management along 38 miles of the Pacific Coast Trail in his resource area while establishing an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) for that location is under consideration.  “This is another example of Rich’s willingness to chart new directions in natural resource management to accommodate changing public values and interests,” Lea said.  Award ceremonies are planned both in Washington, D. C. and Medford, Oregon