Sedona AZ (August 29, 2018) – U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester Cal Joyner presented the Red Rock Ranger District with a special Department of Agriculture Volunteer Innovation Award, Thursday August 23.
The Under Secretary’s Award recognizes the unique ways that our local Red Rock Ranger District has worked with Friends of the Forest (FOF) to protect and restore our public lands.
In particular, the award recognizes innovations in graffiti removal, photo documentation of archeological sites, trail maintenance and construction, and smartphone trails reporting. FOF leaders in these areas, Jerry Piepiora, Spence Gustav, Jerry Checcia and Bob Haizmann were on hand as District Ranger Nicole Branton and Forest Service Volunteer Coordinator Justin Loxley accepted the award.
Regional Forester Joyner pointed out that in addition to this special recognition from the Under Secretary, the Red Rock Ranger District now qualifies for the more prestigious Secretary’s Award.
In the Department of Agriculture organizational structure, the Forest Service is the only agency to report to the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, Washington, D.C.
Last fall, the Red Rock Ranger District and Friends of the Forest were recognized by the Forest Service with the Chief’s Honor Award as having the best volunteer organization in the country.
Friends of the Forest continues to innovate, finding new and creative ways to best partner with and support the Red Rock Ranger District. Its mission to both protect our national forest and make forest resources available to the public. For more information on Friends of the Forest, you can visit www.friendsoftheforestsedona.org.