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Chief's Awards recognize employees for outstanding contributions to agency mission [VIDEO]

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Last week, Forest Service leadership and employees joined together virtually to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of Forest Service individuals and teams throughout the United States and their contributions to the communities and country we serve. The ceremony was hosted by Deputy Chief Jaelith Hall-Rivera, State and Private Forestry. You can watch the full video above or scroll down to each individual category below.

The ongoing pandemic has given us a difficult few years. Yet through it all, you have remained dedicated to serving the American people as they have continued to seek respite on their public lands.

During the ceremony, we heard from the awardees as they described the initiatives and projects they bring to our organization—the benefits they bring to the people we serve. The categories represent our strategic goals: sustain our nation’s forests and grasslands, deliver benefits to the public, apply knowledge globally and excel as a high-performing agency.

The award recipients in each category are:

Sustain our nation’s forests and grasslands

  • Brown-headed nuthatch reintroduction team, for establishing a breeding population of brown-headed nuthatches, recovering a native bird in restored pine woodlands in Missouri.
  • Colorado Fourteeners Program, for protecting resources and improving public access to Colorado’s magnificent 14,000-foot peaks.
  • Dillon Ranger District and Summit County Forest health and fuels cooperative agreement, for improving cross-boundary forest health through collaborative fuels reduction work.
  • Pandemic Assistance for the timber harvesters and haulers, for providing financial aid to loggers and haulers affected by COVID-19.

Deliver benefits to the public

  • Brush Medical Incident, Salmon-Challis National Forest, for outstanding displaying heroism by rappelling into a remote area to help accident survivors.
  • Pacific Southwest Region ESF4 Vaccination Campaign, for organizing the first federally funded mass COVID-19 vaccination sites.
  • Get Black Outside—National Forests, for launching the first get black outside day for black recreational users on the national forests.
  • Innovation and Organizational Learning Research, Development, and Application Team, for using focus groups to help resolve safety issues related to firefighting during COVID-19.

Apply knowledge globally

  • Gerald Patrick Bauer, for building international conservation partnerships while preserving tropical biodiversity.
  • National Wilderness Skills Institute Core Team, for hosting virtual training event for over 900 forest service employees and partners.
  • Office of Tribal Relations National Consultation, for improving the tribal consultation process to better meet tribal trust responsibilities.
  • Arboreta Project Team, for using urban arboreta to detect native and nonnative wood-boring insects.

Excel as a high-performing agency

  • Forest Service Job Corps Program, for pivoting to a new way of doing business during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Forest Service Inclusivity Learning Series Project Team, for creating a work environment that is values-based, purpose-driven and relationship-focused.
  • Stillmeadow Peace Park Team, for using urban forestry to aid underserved communities.
  • Arc Dome Wilderness Reclamation Team, for removing toxic chemicals and restoring pristine conditions in a wilderness area.
  • National Incident Management Organization/Enterprise Risk Management Team, for facilitating response to incidents during COVID-19.
  • Sexual Harassment and Fire Culture Team, for improving workplace experiences for wildland firefighters.
  • This Is Who We Are, for cultivating a values-based, purpose-driven and relationship-focused agency.


Excel as a High-Performing Agency