Lifetime Service Award - 2019

Wayne Elmore
Wayne Elmore

The Public Lands Foundation grants to Wayne Elmore 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.

Wayne knew from an early age that his life would center on natural resources.  He grew up in northeastern Oklahoma, part of a family who loved fishing and hunting, and would go on to earn a degree in Forest Management from Oklahoma State University in 1968.  He later studied fish and wildlife management and found his lifelong passion in the management and restoration of riparian areas.  Wayne began his career with the BLM in Spokane, Washington, but worked on riparian issues in a number of states, including Oregon, New Mexico and Montana.  During the 1980’s and 90’s Wayne delivered over 500 speeches and lectures at national symposiums and meetings.  His work was of national level significance as he briefed and provided testimony for members of Congress.  Wayne showed great personal courage and commitment by frequently going into hostile meetings where attendees felt strongly threatened by conservation messages Wayne was bringing.

In addition to his personal involvement, Wayne also authored or co-authored over 40 publications related to riparian ecosystems and served on numerous multi-disciplinary teams.  This included the National Riparian Service Team (NRST) that Wayne initiated in 1996, working across agency and land status boundaries in 11 western states.  Laura Van Riper, a Social Scientist with this team, who was hired and mentored by Wayne spoke highly of his ability to work with people of widely different expertise and values.  She noted that, “A central tenet of Wayne’s (and thereby NRST’s) approach was humility and willingness to engage with and learn from the people who affect and are affected by natural resource decisions.”

The Public Lands Foundation is honored to recognize Wayne Elmore with this Lifetime Service Award, presented September 12, 2019 at the PLF’s annual meeting in Reno, Nevada.

Edward Shepard
September 12, 2019