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Forest district honored for recreation program

| November 22, 2023 12:00 AM

The West Zone Recreation Program on the Lolo National Forest received the Regional Forester Honor Award for Interdependence, Partnership, and Public Engagement this year.

On Oct. 24, staff from the Superior, Plains and Thompson Falls Ranger Districts had the opportunity to celebrate this accomplishment at the Trapper Creek Job Corps Center with the Northern Region’s Leadership Team.

The program received the award because of their exemplary work with volunteers, youth crews and interns. This program embodies the Forest Service’s core values of service, conservation, interdependence, diversity and safety.

The Superior, Plains and Thompson Falls Ranger Districts manage an impeccable recreation program with support from volunteers, Youth Conservation Crews, Montana Conservation Corps interns and Forest Service employees. The program creates diverse natural resource experiences across disciplines to engage future employees in meaningful work; fostering interdependence, empowering them to learn from one another, and invests in relationships by providing a positive work environment where both employees and volunteers are valued.

The following employees were recognized for their exemplary work within the Forest’s West Zone Recreation Program: Heather Berman: Recreation Staff Lead, Mikey Church: Plains Trails Manager, Nancy Parkin: Developed Recreation Rachel Ryan: Superior Trails Manager, and Leigh Wexler: Recreation Special Uses Administrator.

Members of the recreation program are intertwined with all levels of the developed recreation staff, forming a strong bond between employees, volunteers, and the public. They have a tremendous volunteer program stationed strategically across the districts to support developed campgrounds, the Historic Savenac Tree Nursery, and a unique rover program serving dispersed recreation sites. Many of the program participants have become Forest Service employees in trails, developed recreation, wildfire, engineering and silviculture.

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