Forest Service Presents National Award to Local Volunteer

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Damascus, Va – The USDA Forest Service will honor bicycle patrolman Doug Goss with the 2012 National Trails Volunteer of the Year Award for outstanding service on the Virginia Creeper Trail in southwest Virginia. This prestigious award is presented nationally to one volunteer each year. Goss will receive the award during a ceremony along the Virginia Creeper Trail on Saturday, May 4 at 2 p.m. at Green Cove Station in Damascus, Virginia.

Residing in Ashe County, North Carolina, Goss began volunteering with the Forest Service at the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in 2009. He commonly bicycles over 30 miles a day providing information and assistance to thousands of visitors, including first aid, bicycle repair and maintenance, and training to other bicycle patrol volunteers. Goss receives hundreds of letters and phone calls from visitors expressing gratitude and appreciation for assisting with their Virginia Creeper Trail visit. In addition to assisting visitors, Goss works with Forest Service staff maintaining and repairing the Virginia Creeper Trail.

Goss’ volunteer services extend past the Forest Service, where he serves as a mentor for troubled youth from local communities. He teaches the importance of protecting public lands and encourages others to volunteer their time to improve these areas and serve the public. Some of the youth that Goss mentors currently assist with work on the Virginia Creeper Trail.

The Virginia Creeper Trail is a Rails-to-Trails Destination, and serves as one of southwest Virginia’s most beloved recreation attractions. Extending over 34 miles from the Virginia/North Carolina border to the town of Abingdon, Virginia, nearly 200,000 annual visitors enjoy the trail’s 46 bridges and trestles, scenic mountain views, and open rural countryside. For additional information on the Virginia Creeper Trail, contact the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area at (276) 783-5196 or (800) 628-7202.