Recipients of the 2016 Rangeland Stewardship Awards Announced

The West Box Elder Coordinated Resource Management group has completed nearly 35,000 acres of juniper removal and re-vegetation, as seen in the background.

September 9, 2016 (Boise, Idaho) - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced its Rangeland Stewardship Awards for 2016, given in recognition of the recipients’ dedication to the health and productivity of public rangelands under BLM management. 

“These awards honor excellence in management practices that benefit America’s public rangelands,” said BLM Deputy Director Steve Ellis in a statement issued from Washington, D.C. “Today the BLM proudly commends these public land stewards for their commitment to protecting rangeland resources for current and future generations.”

The presentation of the four awards took place at the annual fall meeting of the rancher-based Public Lands Council. The awards were presented by Joe Tague, Chief of the BLM’s Division for Forest, Rangeland, Riparian, and Plant Conservation.


  • The Rangeland Stewardship-Permittee Award went to the Mori Ranch in Tuscarora, Nevada, a family-owned operation with a BLM grazing permit that has demonstrated excellence in promoting native plant communities on the Mori allotment. The ranch’s management, using a deferred rotation grazing system, has maintained perennial grass and shrub vegetation communities, minimizing cheatgrass invasion and production throughout the allotment, even in areas that have experienced recent fires.
  • The Rangeland Stewardship-Collaborative Planning Team Award went to the Shoesole Resource Management Group in Elko, Nevada, consisting of Federal and state agencies, organizations, and individuals, that has advised three Elko County family ranching operations on successful resource management practices for the past 20 years. The family operations are the Smith family’s Cottonwood Ranch, the Boies family’s ranch on the nearby Hubbard Vineyard allotment, and the Uhart family, which owns a ranching operation between the Cottonwood and Hubbard Vineyard allotments.

    Locals involved with the West Box Elder Coordinated Resource Management group help install a remote water source for wildlife.

  • The Sage-Grouse Habitat Stewardship-Collaborative Group Award went to the West Box Elder County (Utah) Coordinated Resource Management Group, which the BLM commended as an ideal example of a community-based land stewardship organization that is committed, engaged, and active across land ownership boundaries. Read IWJV's newsletter article about this group here.
  • The Sage-Grouse Habitat Stewardship-Permittee Award went to the Drewsey Ranch in Burns, Oregon, which the BLM honored for the operation’s commitment to reducing invasive, wildfire-feeding annual grasses and improving sage-grouse habitat.