Roy Thornton, an 80-year old native Idahoan and resident of White Bird, was presented the Bureau of Land Management’s 2019 National Outstanding Volunteer Achievement Award for his volunteer service to the agency. He was joined by his son, Jim Thornton, and staff from BLM’s Cottonwood Field Office at the ceremony, held in Boise on May 22.
Thornton has volunteered as a camp host for BLM’s Cottonwood Field Office for the past nine years. In 2018 alone, he volunteered over 2,080 hours. He is currently the year-round camp host at the popular Hammer Creek Recreation Site and Campground along the Lower Salmon River. The site sees over 53,000 visitors each year, including anglers, hunters, day use visitors, ATV/UTV users, as well as campers.
In his role representing the BLM, Thornton provides information about the area, campground guidelines, maintenance at the site and more in order to provide a positive recreation experience for visitors. His passion for his work is evident at the well-cared for recreation site as well as through his friendly, helpful demeanor with visitors.
In 2018, over 30,000 volunteers contributed nearly 1 million hours of service to the BLM, providing the equivalent of more than $24 million in labor and enabling BLM to help more Americans experience their public lands. Thornton is one of many hard-working volunteers who help monitor trails, keep campers safe, and provide environmental education interpretation and other visitor services.
“The BLM has only about 9,000 employees to sustainably manage hundreds of millions of acres of public lands for a range of multiple uses. While our employees are exceptionally dedicated, the support they receive from our volunteers is essential to helping our agency achieve its mission for the American people,” said Casey Hammond, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management, exercising the authority of the BLM Director. “It is a privilege to recognize these incredible people for their tireless efforts.”
A national panel of BLM specialists and partner organization representatives selected the winners for their exceptional contributions to conservation and management of public lands.