Students at the South Sevier High School in Monroe have received the highest award given by the Bureau of Land Management for volunteer work. Only four such awards have been given in the nation.

"The students at South Sevier High School are an exemplary model of youth in action, striving to provide better stewardship of public lands," said Jerry Goodman, Richfield District BLM manager. The students were honored with a plaque signed by the BLM's national director, Cy Jamison.Utah will be one of the pilot states in a cooperative program between the BLM and the Future Farmers of America because of the efforts of the South Sevier High School students. Goodman said they opened the way for an agreement now being prepared in Washington, D.C. He commended members of the Ram FFA Chapter at South Sevier and their adviser, Larry Coombs.

The district manager said some of the projects could not have been completed without efforts of the students. Projects over the past five years included installing 200 erosion-control structures in Twist Canyon and in the Henry Mountains. More than 80 students spent hundreds of hours digging trenches, loading fabric and wire baskets with boulders, and placing them in erosion-prone areas.

The work has resulted in reduced erosion and sediment load in the down-slope areas, Goodman said. Structures have successfully controlled and stopped "headcutting" in deep gullies.

Doug Wood, assistant district manager for operations, designed the projects and worked with the students, Goodman said. Wood was recognized by the national BLM director for his "outstanding efforts in coordinating the project work for volunteers."