Reclamation employee recognized with national award in recreation management

Media Contact: Michael R. Odle, (406) 247-7609

For Release: June 10, 2009

The American Recreation Coalition recognized Bureau of Reclamation Natural Resource Specialist Jay Leasure with the coveted Legends Award yesterday, during a ceremony on Capitol Hill.

The Legends Award, presented during Great Outdoors Week, June 8-12 in Washington, DC, honors outstanding federal employees for significant contributions enhancing the nations outdoor recreation resources, facilities and experiences, especially on public lands.

"It is always nice to be recognized for your work," said Leasure. Good people and good partnerships are essential to providing quality resources and facilities to the recreating public. The majority of my recreation is on public lands and I understand how important it is to try and provide a quality experience to ensure those visitors will return."

As a natural resource specialist, Leasure's work includes the oversight, management and administration of recreation and natural resources at 13 Reclamation reservoirs in Nebraska and Kansas. While the day-to-day management of these recreational sites is handled by managing partners, Leasure administers the management agreements between Reclamation and these partners.

Leasure has been very successful in assisting Reclamation's managing partners with construction of new recreation facilities, and with enhancing existing infrastructure such, boat launch ramps, campsites and access roads. He is also instrumental in assisting with compliance with accessibility standards at various recreation sites.

"This award demonstrates the respect Jay has earned in his field and in our community," said Reclamation's Regional Director Mike Ryan. "His focus on professionalism and innovation is exemplified in his efforts to expand and enhance recreational opportunities for the public; connecting people-especially children-and the outdoors."

"The standards and expectations of individuals considered for the Legends award are high, and Jay has exceeded all of those standards and criteria," said Ryan. "His effectiveness as a manager and leader, and his creativity, energy and passion for recreation and natural resource management are infectious, making Jay an outstanding ambassador for the Bureau of Reclamation."

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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