BLM Insignia
United States Department of the Interior
Utah State Office
P.O. Box 45155
Salt Lake City, UT 84145-0155

Mr. Leonard Sebesta

Dear Mr. Sebesta;

I am proud to present the Utah State Director's Public Land Partner Award to you, on behalf of your wife, Dr. Dawn Sebesta, who worked diligently as a volunteer for the Bureau of Land Management, Salt Lake Field Office from 1997 until 2003.

Her love for the birds of prey and her dream that we might always provide a place for them provided the inspiration and drive necessary to forge raptor management in a direction unprecedented in the Bureau of Land Management.

Dawn worked long thankless days and nights in an effort to identify, monitor and protect nesting raptors, and their nests within the diverse 3 million acres of public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Salt Lake Field Office. Dawn was instrumental in the development and implementation of raptor data storage and retrieval files for idengified raptor nest sites. She compiled information on the nest locations, the activities associated with the various nest sites, the success of nesting attempts, and the survivability of the offspring. She established, with the use of GPS equipment, files and photos of raptors, in particular, information on Buteo regalis, the Ferruginous Hawk.

Her activities expanded the last three years to include the gathering and analysis of raptor nestling and production data throughout the western Utah desert. Her involvement and enthusiasm was contagious, where she recruited, trained and supervised up to 100 volunteers in the program. Each volunteer or pair of volunteers was assigned specific geographical areas for which they were responsible. Dawn served as a central repository for all the data which she categorized, analyzed and presented in the Raptor Inventory Nest Report on an annual basis. Dawn also coordinated with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and HawkWatch International to ensure her data and theirs was collected and analyzed as a coordinated effort.

In 2003 alone, she was responsible to coordinate volunteers who logged more than 75,000 miles in their own vehicles, at their own expenses, and more than 7,400 hours of time spent on surveys. The hours alone equate to nearly 4 work-years at a value of over $200,000.00.

Bureau of Land Management officials will benefit from the availability of the information, used in conjunction with other data, to evaluate the needs for protective and mitigative terms and conditions to protect raptors and their habitat.

The information gathered, as a result of her efforts, has been critical to the issuance of oil and gas leases including stipulations necessary to protect raptors, as well as documented historical nest sites.

The data she has gathered, the photos that have been taken, and the biological description of the Raptor species on the 3 million acres of public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management, will forever establish a sense of place for raptors in the Western Ecosystem.

Future generations may have the opportunity to not only see a live raptor in the wild but also have the data to compare historical conditions. The placement of oil and gas wells, the routes used for motorcycle races, the placement of gravel pits or authorization of livestock grazing permits are all dependant upon the accuracy and availability of the data that Dawn W. Sebesta has gathered and published.

Dawn was very unselfish of her precious time and resources and did it all in the name of preserving a place for wildlife in this great country.

Thanks to you Len for sharing Dawn with the Bureau of Land Management, and thanks to Dawn for being the most wonderful, dedicated volunteer, and remarkable person.

With my deepest appreciation,
Sally Wisely
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