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Montezuma County resident named BLM Colorado volunteer of the year

Montezuma County resident Larry Keller was awarded the 2022 BLM Colorado Volunteer of the Year award for his contributions to the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. (Courtesy Bureau of Land Management)
Larry Keller dedicates his retirement volunteering for Canyons of the Ancients National Monument

The Bureau of Land Management Tres Rios Field Office announced that Larry Keller of Lewis is the recipient of 2022 BLM Colorado Volunteer of the Year Award.

Keller donates his time and skills at Canyons of the Ancients National Monument and its museum in Dolores.

The award is presented annually to a volunteer in Colorado who goes above and beyond to support the BLM.

“Volunteers are essential for the BLM to achieve our mission of sustaining the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands,” said acting BLM State Director Stephanie Connolly in a news release. “We’re proud to recognize Keller for his dedication, scholarship, enthusiasm, and hard work on our heritage resources in the museum and on the monument.”

Keller’s work cataloging several important collections is equivalent to 1½ years of a full-time employee, or $89,216 in value added to the BLM.

His contributions ensure that important artifacts and specimens are properly cared for and preserved in a manner consistent with federal policy. He also spends time educating visitors about the monument and archaeology.

Keller has volunteered for the BLM since 2010 and has contributed more than 3,100 hours of his time.

“I knew I wanted to spend my retirement giving back to the community, and I believe in the BLM’s mission,” said Keller surrounded by his friends and colleagues at a celebration in his honor June 8. “I want to thank my wife, who, with some convincing, supported our move to Cortez so we could pursue this dream.”

Larry Keller teaches young students at the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument Visitor Center and Museum. He was named BLM Colorado Volunteer of the Year for 2022.

Larry is a retired attorney and has also volunteered in the lab at Crow Canyon Archaeology Center in Cortez since 2010.

The BLM works with thousands of volunteers who offer their time, skills, and service to help care for the nation’s natural and cultural resources.

Volunteers contribute to many BLM program areas, including recreation, wild horses and burros, cultural and historical resources, and environmental education.

More information about how you can get involved volunteering for the BLM in Colorado visit www.blm.gov/get-involved/volunteers