BLM ranger’s security detail in Nevada is water over the dam now |

BLM ranger’s security detail in Nevada is water over the dam now

Homeland defense isn’t always close to home. Just ask Dee Lehman, a ranger for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Glenwood Springs.

With less than a week’s notice, Lehman, along with her BLM canine officer Gretta, was ordered to Hoover Dam near Las Vegas to assist in providing some extra protection for the landmark.

Lehman was called by the BLM’s special agent in charge during the second week of January. She was on site at the dam from Jan. 16 to Feb. 8.

Lehman took part in just one of many extra security teams dispatched across the country to protect sites that could become terrorist targets. Because of the nature of the assignment, Lehman was unable to give specific details, but she described some of the differences between that experience and her everyday job as a ranger.

“We were just kind of monitoring activity around the dam,” she said.

The duty was a combination of foot patrol and driving duty.

“We pulled the graveyard shift,” she said, which meant she was on duty while she normally would be sleeping.

“It took me probably three or four days to get used to it,” she said. “That’s why I admire all the police and fire departments that do that, plus all the private citizens working graveyard.”

Another difference from her job here at home is that rather than doing different things each day, at the dam, it was the same duty every day.

“We basically had one objective,” she said.

At home, Lehman deals with a variety of law enforcement issues from making sure those who collect rocks on BLM property have the proper permits to watching over mountain lion hunters to ensure all is going according to the law.

She couldn’t be specific about her experiences at Hoover Dam, but said, “There were several times when your adrenaline got going.”

Aside from that, she said she enjoyed meeting folks and had fun eating at the variety of restaurants in the Las Vegas area.

“The area is great; they have the history of the men building the dam,” she said. “I think probably the best thing was the camaraderie and meeting people from agencies in different parts of the country.”

For anyone planning to follow in Chevy Chase’s footsteps in “National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation” and visit the hulking dam, Lehman suggested calling ahead.

“They do have signs saying `Passenger Cars Only’ over the dam,” she said, adding that the alternate route for those with campers and trucks is about 150 miles away.

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