Lifetime Service Award - 2018

Tom Allen
Tom Allen

The Public Lands Foundation grants to Thomas J. Allen its Lifetime Service Award for excellence in public land management.  The Foundation provides this award to deserving BLM employees who have perpetuated and enhanced the proud tradition of public service.

Tom has dedicated his life to public land management.  He was born and raised in West Allis, Wisconsin, the middle of three brothers.  His love of the woods started early as he enjoyed summers at his grandparents’ farm in northern Wisconsin.  He played football in high school and graduated from the University of Montana in 1962 with a degree in forestry.

Tom started his career with BLM in 1962 as a Realty Specialist in the Carson City District and retired as the Alaska State Director in 1999.

In the intervening 37 years, Tom served in a variety of BLM positions with ever increasing responsibility.  He held the position of Area Manager in Carson City and Folsom Districts, Budget Analyst in the California State Office, Budget Analyst and Branch Chief in the Washington Office, Desk Officer in the Office of the Secretary, Associate State Director in Arizona, Assistant Director for Administration in the Washington Headquarters Office, and finally State Director in Alaska.

Tom has always been recognized for his exceptional vision and foresight and his ability to find solutions whether for the Native Americans in the Southwest or Alaska, as well as other tough budget, personnel, land management or process problems.

Some of Tom’s specific accomplishments include resolution of Zuni access to the sacred site, Zuni Heaven; being a major player in the signing of an MOU related to fishing, hunting, and sports shooting on Federal lands; and completion of an EIS allowing for development in the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska.  Throughout his career Tom actively coached and provided opportunities to his subordinates.

Tom Allen has technically been retired for almost 20 years, yet he has continued to work tirelessly on behalf of public land issues, especially in the areas of rangeland health, wildlife, recreational shooting, and wild horse and burro management.

The Public Lands Foundation is honored to recognize Tom Allen with this Lifetime Service Award, presented September 13, 2018 at the PLF’s annual meeting in Billings, Montana.


Edward Shepard
September 13, 2018