Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stepping Up

On Saturday March 24, 2012 Partners In Conservation (PIC) and a local Boy Scout partnered together to help improve our local public lands in the Gold Butte area.

As part of the BLM’s plan to provide a better visitor experience to the Gold Butte area information kiosks were to be installed. These kiosks would include such things as a map, rules and regulations and other information that would be useful to those visiting the area. Understanding the importance of community involvement the local BLM office created an opportunity for a local youth to take the final step in his pursuit of the Eagle Scout achievement.

The final project of an Eagle Scout is a tool designed to create an opportunity for the Scout to learn leadership qualities while providing a service to the community. The final project is designed to top off or complete the other attributes learned as the scout progresses through the program and earns merit badges. As the name states, these are badges of merit. The Scouter works and learns important values along their path to the rank of Eagle Scout. As they do so they are presented with a badge to honor these learned traits.

This project presented the scouter not only an opportunity to learn project management, but also the importance of local involvement, community stewardship, hard work and the importance of working together with the government agencies and the community to provide a useful service to the community.

The goal of this project was to replace two of the temporary wooden kiosks that were installed with permanent structures at the most visible sites. One was at the turn off to Gold Butte at the Riverside parking area and the other at Whitney Pockets.

It was the scout’s responsibility to work with the BLM to ensure all the tools and hardware was there to complete the work. It was also the scout’s responsibility to line up the people needed to perform the labor and other project supplies such as food and water for laborers. On Saturday morning at 9:30 everyone showed up and the project commenced without a hitch.

I commend the local BLM office for stepping up and providing an opportunity to engage the community and providing a local scout with the opportunity to take the next step in earning the achievement of Eagle Scout.  I commend PIC in stepping up and working with both the local communities and the BLM to help this project take place. I commend the local scouter in his desire to step up and be an upstanding member of the community and having a strong desire to complete this project and the leadership skills needed to do so.

These are the kinds of projects and the level of support that make our public lands successful and sustainable.  It is examples like this that demonstrate that local public lands management is what will preserve our public lands for the next generation. No designation, mark on a map, added layer of management or act of congress can manufacture or account for genuine community stewardship.  In actuality these added layers of bureaucracy hurt our public lands. It denies them proper local management as well as breaking the bond of local stewardship.