2009 NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS
PAST AWARD WINNERS
FEDERAL LAND MANAGER – U.S. Forest Service – The Spotted Bear Ranger District
The Spotted Bear Ranger District, in northwestern Montana, consists of approximately 1.2 million acres and is a true “in and out” ranger district, meaning it works remote for seven months of the year. The district is very remote- two hours driving on a gravel road with no services- making attracting large numbers of volunteers difficult. Nevertheless, in 2008, the Spotted Bear Ranger District was able to attract over 13.5 Full Time Equivalents in volunteers. A remarkable feat considering the district has only twelve full time employees on staff. In order to promote this type of volunteerism the rangers go above and beyond their call of duty. They will meet someone coming in late in the evening or very early in the morning, help with meals, stock, or transportation to the trailhead. They host needed training and awareness sessions, and even provide advance planning. The result is an atmosphere that welcomes public service and a district that plays host to a wide range of volunteers including retired Forest Service employees, at risk youth groups, the National Association of Smokejumpers, the Back Country Horseman and the Montana Pilots Association. Working at this remote ranger district requires an extra commitment from all employees, it is something they are willing to give and it has truly enhanced the spirit of service and volunteerism.
U.S. Forest Service Chief, Tom Tidwell, Deputy Secretary of the Interior, David Hayes, accepting the award, Rangers Ted Wehunt and Deb Mucklow, joining the Rangers, Director of Take Pride in America, Lisa Young.