Featured Presenters

Arthur “Butch” Blazer
President, Mescalero Apache Tribe

Arthur “Butch” Blazer currently serves as President of the Mescalero Apache Tribe located in south central New Mexico. Butch was raised on the beautiful one-half million acre Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation and is recognized nationally as a leader in Indian Country. President Blazer has extensive experience in working with Federal, Tribal, and State entities, as well as non-profit organizations and has held various executive management and leaderships positions over his 32 years as a public servant.

In 2011, President Obama appointed Butch to serve as Deputy Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and the Environment within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) where he provided oversight and direction to the U.S. Forest Service until May 2016.

Butch served as the first ever Native American State Forester, appointed by former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson for 8 years and led the development of a successful Healthy Forest and Watershed Health Plan for the State of New Mexico. He brought a tribal perspective to the National Association of State Foresters and assured that tribal issues and concerns were addressed at the national level.

Butch also served as Natural Resources Manager for the Mescalero Apache Tribe, having oversite of important reservation natural resources and was elected and served two consecutive terms on the Mescalero Apache Tribal Council in the late 1990’s.

On June 28, 2016, Butch received one of the greatest honors of his career. He was presented with the Presidents Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteerism, signed by President Barack Obama.

Butch graduated from New Mexico State University (’75) with a BS Degree in Range Science.