Outstanding Public Lands Professional Awards - 1995

Manager/Managerial - Administrative Category

Ron Wenker
Ron Wenker

RON WENKER of Winnemucca, Nevada, has been named the Outstanding Public Lands Professional for 1995 by the Public Lands Foundation (PLF). Wenker, who is manager for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Winnemucca  District will receive the award on February 20th in Washington, D. C.

Foundation president George Lea credited Wenker with “outstanding and relentless dedication to providing professional management of the public resources in favor of long-term public conservation and protection of the health of the land.”  Lea noted that Wenker exhibited great professionalism in resolving management issues which often involved diverse organizations, agencies, and individuals.

“The Winnemucca District includes over eight million acres of public land with extensive, multiple, and significant resources and is one of the more complicated and controversial management areas in BLM,” Lea said.

Wenker came to Nevada in 1988 as District Manager.  He is a graduate of California State University at Humboldt in range management.  His BLM career has taken him to Ely, Nevada; Riverside, California; Rawlins, Wyoming; Kemmemer, Wyoming; and Washington D.C.

“Ron put his career on the line while exhibiting great patience and professionalism in resolving management issues involving diverse organizations, state agencies, and local ranchers,” Lea said.  Ron’s commitment to excellence is reflected in the fact that mining operations under his jurisdiction have received major environmental and mining awards.  “This has not been easy,” Lea says, ” and Ron has shown exemplary courage and risk-taking in tackling problems that were part of the so-called War of the West.  He was able to resolve the conflicts without any appeals being filed in this highly-charged atmosphere.  Many of these actions were complicated, for example, because the Winnemucca District has one of the largest wild horse populations.

The Winnemucca District includes over 8 million acres of public land with extensive multiple and significant resources and is one of the more complicated and controversial areas in BLM.  Ron is currently leading a task force to address cooperative management of checkerboard areas for minerals, range, and other purposes.