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FARM BUREAU HONORS OUTGOING BLM DIRECTOR

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The Utah Farm Bureau has honored James M. Parker, outgoing state director of the Bureau of Land Management, with its Special Service Award.

Parker earned a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University and attended the U.S. Department of Agriculture graduate school in Washington, D.C. He also completed the requirements for a master's degree in public administration from George Washington University.Utah Farm Bureau President Ken Ashby said Parker has guided the Utah BLM office "in what has to be one of the most difficult periods in his government service."

"During that time, we have seen a significant increase in controversy over environmental issues, numerous proposals to change the time-honored multiple use mission of BLM, the battle over wilderness designation in Utah and more recently, the Bruce Babbitt-directed Interior Department's Rangeland Reform '94 proposal," Ashby said.

Ashby credited Parker for conducting himself with dignity, keeping his door open to all sides of the issues and treating public land users - including ranchers - with "utmost fairness."

Parker received the award recently at the Farm Bureau's midyear conference in St. George.