(ZORTMAN, Mont.) – Each generation is blessed with a few great men who impact the world around them so profoundly that, after they return to dust, plaques are forged in bronze to carry the torch of the memory of them through time to future generations.

In honor of Donald R. “Buff” Buffington, the Bureau of Land Management installed a plaque at Buff’s Picnic Area, the recreation site named after him.

“His name can still be heard in the halls of the BLM Malta Field Office today, 30 years after he retired,” said BLM Malta Field Manager Tom Darrington. “The BLM is thankful for Don’s years of dedicated service and his contribution to the BLM Recreation Program.”

Buff retired from the Malta BLM unit as the Phillips Resource Area’s Civil Engineering Technician in 1987 and had a decade to enjoy the fruits of his labor until he passed into his eternity in 1997, during his eightieth lap around the sun. 

Buff worked for 20 years in areas of survey, design, construction and contracting of reservoirs, fences, roads, bridges and various other construction projects. His many years as a farmer, rancher, surveyor, and heavy equipment operator complimented his BLM service. 

His personal interest in the recreational and camping areas in the Phillips Resource Area benefited a lot of people.  He designed and constructed fireplaces, garbage can racks, and entire picnic and game areas in the Little Rockies Camp Creek Campground.

Buff’s Picnic Area is located in the Little Rocky Mountains near Zortman, Mont., adjacent to Camp Creek Campground, which is managed by the BLM Malta Field Office. 

The plaque was donated by Don’s family, including his daughter Carol McVicars and his nephew Gary Buffington. The plaque can be seen at the Buff’s Day Use Picnic Area, which includes picnic tables, canopy shelters, fire pits, a barbeque grill, horse shoe pits, a volleyball court, a drinking fountain, garbage service and a vault toilet. As stewards, the BLM manages public lands for the benefit of current and future generations, supporting conservation as we pursue our multiple-use mission. 

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In honor of Donald R. “Buff” Buffington (1917-1997), the Bureau of Land Management installed a plaque at Buff’s Picnic Area, the recreation site named after him.  (BLM Photo by Jason Snellman)

– BLM –

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BLM Malta Field Office · 47285 Highway 2 · Malta, MT 59538 · www.blm.gov/montana-dakotas

Source: The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land for the American people, the most of any federal agency. This land is primarily located in 12 Western states. The BLM administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield.

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