USFS Employee Nationally Recognized for Dedication to Wilderness Education

KAMIAH, Idaho (January 10, 2020) – A retired U.S. Forest Service wilderness ranger and dedicated wilderness advocate was posthumously awarded for excellence in wilderness education, traditional skills leadership, decision making, and overall wilderness stewardship last month in Washington, D.C. 

   On Dec. 19th, Deputy Chief of the National Forest System Christopher B. French announced the U.S. Forest Service 2019 National Wilderness Awards Recipients.  The Connie G. Myers Wilderness Education Leadership Award was given in honor of Connie Saylor Johnson who was cited for “educating the public about the wilderness during her 13 years with the Forest Service as a wilderness ranger, and 11 years during retirement as a full-time volunteer.” 

   During remarks at a celebration of life ceremony last summer, Forest Supervisor Cheryl Probert of the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests said Johnson loved the wilderness, hard work, good people, “and just about any mule.” She said she took her job as a government employee with the Forest Service seriously and responsibly.      

   “Her persona, a self-sufficient lady, tough as nails and sharp as a tack, made all of us around her want to be better,” Probert said.  “She made wise decisions about what is and isn’t allowed in wilderness areas.  Through Connie and her protégés, I saw wilderness as more than just a piece of land; wilderness is also a spirit, a feeling, a state of mind and body. And it’s my job as Forest Supervisor to keep it so. Connie was a force in life, and she remains a force of life in death. She is out there protecting the wilderness she loves through the people she has touched and trained forever.”