Lifetime Service Award - 2023

Tom Lahti
Tom Lahti

Tom Lahti

Lifetime Service Award

 The Public Lands Foundation grants to Tom Lahti 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 began his career with the BLM in the mid 1970’s as a landscape architect in the Idaho Falls office, designing recreational facilities.  He worked hard to instill an appreciation for visual resources which was a new concern for BLM at the time.  Tom quickly moved up to serve as the state lead in Wyoming for visual resources and landscape architecture where his influence was widely felt throughout the BLM and beyond its borders.  Tom developed the BLM-wide standard environmental color chart, which is still in use today, and which has also seen application in other countries.  His experience with the use of camouflage paint resulted in the development of a BLM technical note and handbook.

As a recognized expert in visual resources and view shed management, Tom was in high demand teaching courses at the BLM National Training Center and as a guest lecturer outside the BLM. His curiosity kept pace with new developments in the exploitation of new energy sources as he secured funding to study the impacts of wind energy on public lands and the night sky. These studies resulted in the publication of additional technical notes.

Throughout his career, Tom was generous with his time and mentored numerous other employees dealing with visual impacts on public lands.  He ended his career as the Renewable Energy Chief for the BLM Western States where he dealt with controversial projects such as large wind farms and multi-state transmission lines.

The Public Lands Foundation is honored to recognize Tom Lahti with this Lifetime Service Award presented September 26, 2023, at the PLF’s annual meeting in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Mary Jo Rugwell, President                                                                           September 26, 2023