by Mike Burkett
roundup staff reporter
"Everybody likes to be recognized," Gila County District One Supervisor Ron Christensen said.
But most people get through their entire lives without being recognized by the president of the United States as Christensen was last week, when he was presented with the President's Achievement Award as part of the National Association of Counties' (NACo) annual conference in Philadelphia.
NACo President Jane Hague presented Christensen with the award for his hard work and leadership as the chairperson of the Public Lands Steering Committee, which helps shape association policy around matters relating to federally-owned public lands, including tax-immunity problems; shared natural resource payments; payments in lieu of taxes; and federal land management programs.
"Under Ronald Christensen's leadership, the Public Lands Committee has accomplished great things," Hague said during her presentation of the award. "He has proven to be a great advocate and has emerged as a loud and clear voice representing county governments on the national scene."
"On a personal level, (the honor) means I've been doing a good job for the country in respect to getting some changes made in how we administer the public lands," Christensen said Wednesday. "It's gratifying to me to be recognized for that. You can work for some time on issues and never get recognized for it, and sometimes that's a little disheartening. So I appreciated the fact that the president was interested (in the steering committee's work) ..."
Headquartered on Capitol Hill, NACo is the only organization that represents county governments in the United States. It provides legislative, research, technical and public affairs assistance to its members, and is involved in a number of special projects dealing with such issues as the environment, sustainable communities, volunteerism and intergenerational studies.