Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Archaeologist Craig Bromley received two prestigious national awards in 2011 for his historic trails preservation work: the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS) and the Distinguished Service Award from the Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA).
The PNTS Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes Bromley for his career-long dedication to protecting and mitigating impacts to the National Historic Trails System. The Distinguished Service Award is OCTA’s highest honor for non-members and recognizes recipients for their outstanding service relating to the preservation of national historic trails.
Some of the most intact and pristine portions of the Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, California and Pony Express national historic trails in the country can be found on public lands in the Lander Field Office (LFO) area. The trails can be experienced in a setting relatively unchanged from the 1800s and more than 70,000 people each year visit the South Pass segment alone, including thousands of young people re-enacting the pioneer trekking experience.
“Craig has shown great dedication to the protection of the trails and their historic settings on public lands,” said Lander Field Manager Rick Vander Voet. “He works effectively with BLM cooperating agencies and industry representatives to avoid or lessen the impacts associated with multiple-use activities along or adjacent to the trails.”
Bromley is proud of his work with industry representatives over the past 30 years to avoid the cumulative effects of development proposals which could have dramatically changed the character of these trails. “I understand industry has a job to do and industry understands I have a job to do too,” Bromley said. “I’m proud of the way we’ve worked together over the years to accomplish both development and protection of historic trails and sites.”
Bromley has been working as a BLM archaeologist in the LFO since 1981. Among his most significant accomplishments are his contributions to the cultural resources sections in both the 1987 Lander Resource Management Plan (RMP) and the new Lander RMP, currently available for public comment, which will guide BLM management of the historic trails in the LFO area for the next 20 years.
In addition, Bromley has served as the chairman of the Fremont County Historic Preservation Commission, was deeply involved in the Martin’s Cove walking path and development project, and worked with the National Park Service on their California and Pony Express National Historic Trails Comprehensive Management and Use Plan. In 1999, Bromley and another historian located Seminoe’s Trading Post near Devil’s Gate, which led to the excavation of the post by the University of Wyoming in 2001.
—Bureau of Land Management