2011 FEDERAL LAND MANAGER -- U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS - Billy Samuels

2011 FEDERAL LAND MANAGER -- U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS - Billy Samuels
Billy Samuels is the Resource Manager at Enid Lake, Mississippi, a U.S. Army Corps site in northwestern Mississippi, where he has made significant contributions to his local project, the region and the nation.

Billy’s selfless service in developing the volunteer program and building and sustaining partnerships embodies the mission of the Corps and reflects the spirit of Take Pride in America. His efforts led to development of a state-recognized, award winning, annual volunteer clean-up program, partnerships for fish and wildlife habitat development, and receipt of $187,000 in partnership funding for trail and campground improvements. Most importantly, he instilled a sense of ownership and pride in the community for their public lands and natural resources.

Throughout the years the staff at Enid Lake, under Billy’s leadership, has worked diligently to promote volunteerism in caring for our natural resources and recreation areas. A key component of the volunteer program is to educate our visitors and citizens of local communities that each of us is charged with being good stewards of our public lands. Partnerships and volunteer programs have been developed to not only enhance the aesthetic value of the lake, but to maintain and construct recreation facilities and encourage outdoor recreation through special events.

Without Enid Lake Volunteers many programs such as Clean Up Day, Habitat Day, Physically Challenged Fishing Day, Hunting and Fishing Day would not be possible. Volunteers not only dedicate their time during the event, but spend untold hours preparing, collecting door prizes as well monetary donations to insure that each volunteer and participant has a pleasant and enjoyable experience. What is so encouraging is that these volunteers have taken it upon themselves to mentor children, youth, and young adults in the preservation of natural resources for future generations.

Because of Billy’s example, the volunteers at Enid Lake take great pride and ownership in the lake and work side-by-side with Corps employees in the implementation of recreation and natural resource management goals. Over the past five years, more than 5,000 volunteers have accomplished work that is valued at more than $1,100,000 and the lake has received grant monies in excess of $180,000 for the construction of recreation areas and trails. In 2010, approximately 1,040 volunteers accomplished work that is valued at more than $300,000.

Billy manages a 44,000 acre multi–use project that can be an overwhelming task at times, but with dedicated staff and group of volunteers what seems impossible can be accomplished as is proven at Enid Lake. Through the efforts of volunteers, staff and various partnerships, Enid Lake has become one of North Mississippi’s premier vacation destinations.