James Lucero is a giver. He gives his time. He gives his talents and he gives his energy. Lucero is a life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He also a diligent RMEF volunteer including past stints as New Mexico state chair and a member of the RMEF project advisory committee. And he keeps on giving, serving as chair of the RMEF Albuquerque Chapter.
But his volunteering does not stop there – not even close. Lucero gives his time to help the New Mexico Department and Game and Fish Habitat Enhancement Program and other sportsmen and habitat advocacy groups. Plus, he stepped up again and again to attend every work project hosted by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Socorro Field Office over the last 15 years.
For his ongoing efforts, the BLM recently presented Lucero with its Outstanding Achievement Award, one of nine such national awards given out at the BLM’s virtual awards ceremony.
“James makes the one-hour drive from Albuquerque to the Socorro Field Office for every event, sometimes driving his own personal vehicle to the site. Most times, he is hauling 5-6 other volunteers from Albuquerque and surrounding areas to these volunteer events,” a BLM representative said during the award presentation. “James chooses to utilize many of his personal tools needed for the job. He has never requested compensation of his fuel or other expenses and often turns down compensation when offered or provided for by BLM. James is known for bringing an uplifting positive attitude to each project, which provides motivation for the rest of the crew.”
In addition to working at BLM volunteer work projects, Lucero also serves as the unofficial volunteer coordinator, spending hours recruiting, emailing and calling volunteers. To cite one example, he helped gather 15 volunteers that provided labor for the La Caja Habitat Restoration Project, which received the designation as 2022 BLM Conservation Project of the Year.
“Without his coordination efforts this sort of participation would never occur or be as successful. He has been solely responsible for building partnerships and stewardship opportunities that have not gone un-noticed by the BLM, state agencies and other nongovernment partner groups,” said the BLM. “James’ contributions have been a great asset to the management of public lands and the wildlife of New Mexico and show why he is so deserving of the Outstanding Achievement Award.”
Lucero received the award on August 16, 2023, in Albuquerque. The photo shows Lucero (on the right) receiving the award from Carlos Madril, BLM Socorro Field Office wildlife biologist.
(Photo credit: Bureau of Land Management)