Rocky Mountain Regional Forester Acknowledges Employees, Volunteers, and Partners for 2018 Accomplishments

Shoshone National Forest employees accept an awardLAKEWOOD, CO, April 11, 2019 – Regional Forester Brian Ferebee honored employees, partners, and volunteers for their 2018 contributions and successes during the annual Regional Forester’s Awards ceremony on April 4.  

Regional Forester Brian Ferebee recognized 45 award winners and employees from one Ranger District for innovative, impactful work that supports achievement of the USDA Forest Service’s mission, strategic plan and priorities, which align with the United States Department of Agriculture’s seven strategic goals.

“It’s an honor to recognize and celebrate employees, volunteers, and partners for their 2018 accomplishments and the difference they make for present and future generations,” said Regional Forester Brian Ferebee.

The award categories included Volunteer and Service, Sustaining our Nation’s Forests and Grasslands, Delivering Benefits to the Public, Innovation, Excel as a High-Performing Agency, Emerging Leader, and Ranger District of the Year.

VOLUNTEER AND SERVICE

Regional Forester Brian Ferebee recognized volunteers and service participants for their contributions to all USDA Forest Service focus areas and for their support in sustaining the health, diversity, and productivity of our Nation’s forests and grasslands.

Most Volunteer and Service Program Hours

  • Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests
  • Pawnee National Grassland

Greatest Total Increase in Volunteer Hours

  • Pike-San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron-Comanche National Grasslands

Greatest Percentage Increase in Volunteer Hours

  • Bighorn National Forest
  • Shoshone National Forest
  • Rio Grande National Forest

Achieving and Exceeding Volunteer Metrics

  • Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest and Thunder Basin National Grassland
  • Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands
  • White River National Forest

SUSTAINING OUR NATION’S FORESTS AND GRASSLANDS

Two teams were acknowledged within this award category for achievements in creating and maintaining resilient landscapes.

Regional Forester Brian Ferebee acknowledged the Bighorn National Forest Steering Committee for a 20-year relationship that provides the citizen-landowners, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and the managers of the Bighorn National Forest a standing, respectful, inclusive forum.

Awardees:

  • Kelly Norris, Wyoming State Forestry Division
  • Joe Budd, Wyoming Department of Agriculture
  • Dan Thiele, Wyoming Game and Fish Department
  • Mike Nickel, Sheridan County Commissioner
  • Terry Wolf, Washakie County Commissioner
  • Bob Perry, Johnson County Commissioner
  • Deb Craft, Big Horn County Commissioner
  • Keith Grant, Shoshone County Conservation District
  • Susan Holmes, Sheridan County Conservation District
  • Dan Rice, Washakie County Conservation District

DELIVERING BENEFITS TO THE PUBLIC

Two teams were acknowledged within this award category for strengthening communities and connecting people to the outdoors, and ensuring forests and grasslands deliver values, uses, products, and services that people want and need.

Regional Forester Brian Ferebee acknowledged the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests and Colorado State Forest Service-Montrose Field Office for a partnership that encourages new ideas and new ways of doing business, welcomes new voices to the table, and fosters a learning environment to achieve common goals.

Awardees:

  • Jodi Rist, Supervisory Forester, Colorado State Forest Service
  • Austin Shelby, Forester, Colorado State Forest Service
  • Kelsey Lesniak, Forester, Colorado State Forest Service
  • Scott Johnson, Forester, Colorado State Forest Service
  • Nicole Hutt, Timber Management Officer, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests
  • Drew Strosberg, Timber Management Asst., Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests
  • Cari Johnson, Timber Management Asst., Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests
  • Joseph Gonzales, Forester, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests
  • Christie Ladue, Forester, Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests

Regional Forester Brian Ferebee also acknowledged the San Juan National Forest Fisheries Program for the development of a working relationship with multiple partners that are instrumental to enhance and expand populations of the newly rediscovered San Juan Lineage Colorado River cutthroat trout to ensure the persistence of this valued and rare species in perpetuity.

Awardees:

  • Clay Kampf, San Juan National Forest Fisheries Biologist
  • Mary Hammer, San Juan National Forest Fish and Wildlife Program Leader

INNOVATION

Two teams were acknowledged within this award category for developing efficient and effective business practices that ensure financial accountability.  

Regional Forester Brian Ferebee acknowledged the White River National Forest Mountain Sports National Environmental Policy Act and Planning Team for meeting resource obligations, expanding community connections and partnerships with ski area partners, and for developing innovative ways to work more efficiently and effectively as part of an agency-wide effort to improve processes associated with environmental analysis and decision-making.  

Awardees:

  • Roger Poirier, Mountain Sports Program Manager, White River National Forest
  • Sam Massman, Mountain Sports Administrator, Dillon Ranger District, White River National Forest
  • Travis Beck, Project Manager, SE Group
  • Matt Ehrman, Forest Planner, White River National Forest
  • Max Forgensi, Mountain Sports Administrator, Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District, White River National Forest
  • Bill Jackson, District Ranger, Dillon Ranger District, White River National Forest
  • Aaron Mayville, District Ranger, Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District, White River National Forest

The Regional Forester also acknowledged the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center and USDA Forest Service Job Corps for an innovative pilot training program, known as the Dispatch Academy. During the four-month pilot training program, fire managers trained and qualified six USDA Forest Service Job Corps students to serve as Initial Attack Dispatchers. Initial Attack Dispatchers play a critical role in fire management by dispatching and tracking personnel, equipment, and aircraft resources that respond to wildland fires on state, federal and private lands. The pilot training program will solve interagency staffing challenges, as well as increase the diversity of the wildland fire and USDA Forest Service applicant pool.

Awardees:

  • Harris Maceo, Acting USDA Forest Service Job Corps National Director
  • Clay Fowler, USDA Forest Service Job Corps National Fire Program Coordinator
  • Scott Swendsen, USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center Manager
  • Raquel Stanton, USDA Forest Service Job Corps Fire Program Administrative Assistant
  • Justin Abbey, USDA Forest Service Asst. Fire Management Officer, Trapper Creek Center
  • Greg Sanders, USDA Forest Service Fire and Aviation Program Coordinator           

EXCEL AS A HIGH-PERFORMING AGENCY

One employee was acknowledged within this award category for demonstrating effective and measurable contributions toward making the USDA Forest Service an employer of choice and creating a fair, diverse, inclusive and effective workplace.

Regional Forester Brian Ferebee acknowledged Rio Grande National Forest Safety Manger Justin Deforest for consistently achieving highly effective and measurable contributions toward making the USDA Forest Service an employer of choice on the Rio Grande and across the Rocky Mountain Region through the Regional Safety Council.

EMERGING LEADER

Two employees were acknowledged within this award category for superior service to their unit and community and for displaying exceptional productivity, collaboration, and innovation in leadership.

Regional Forester Brian Ferebee acknowledged Shoshone National Forest Hydrologist Karri Cary for leading projects within her program while also engaging in continued and new efforts to work at a landscape scale across boundaries in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Karri recently represented the USDA Forest Service during an International Programs trip to Mongolia.

Regional Forester Brian Ferebee acknowledged Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests Hydrologist Ashley Hom for a “breakout year.” Ashley collaborated with local, state and Federal agencies on multiple projects over the year as well as obtained funds from outside sources, applied for and received grant funding as well as completing the USDA Forest Service National New Leader Program.

RANGER DISTRICT OF THE YEAR

One field unit, Ranger District, was acknowledged within this award category for demonstrating leadership, teamwork, community connections, responsiveness to challenges, innovation, creativity, workforce vitality and morale, and resource stewardship.

Regional Forest Brian Ferebee acknowledged employees from the Clarks Fork, Greybull and Wapiti Ranger District of the Shoshone National Forest for promoting a diverse and healthy work environment, using innovative approaches for work, employing conflict management and prevention resources to help build trust and relationships, accomplishing outstanding work, partnering with external partners, and connecting with communities. 

Recipients of the volunteer and service awards received a plaque for the winning unit. Recipients of the Regional Forester’s awards received a certificate and a five-section tray made by Colorado artist Matt Ricketts from reclaimed beetle kill pine. The tray is symbolic of the five states that make up the Rocky Mountain Region. The District of the Year received an Aldo Leopold bench handcrafted by carpentry students at the Collbran Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center in Colorado. 

The Regional Forester presents awards each year to Forest Service employees, volunteers, and partners for their outstanding achievements in the previous year. The Rocky Mountain Region reserves this award as its highest honor.

View photos from the ceremony on Flickr.

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Key Contacts

Lawrence Lujan, 303-275-5346



https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r2/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD622021