The Tahoe National Forest has earned regional recognition for efforts in cultural transformation, diversity and inclusion, as well as for sustainable operations, claiming two of 10 annual Regional Forester’s Honor Awards for the Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region (PSW).
The PSW is honoring all TNF employees for Cultural Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion and Karie Wiltshire of the Sierraville Ranger District for Sustainable Operations and Energy Management, according to a news release.
TNF Forest Supervisor Tom Quinn credited his staff’s success in providing a respectful and welcoming workplace to people’s ongoing commitment to work out difficulties proactively and collaboratively, thus avoiding the need to use civil rights complaint processes.
“The Tahoe has had no formal or informal EEO or civil rights complaints for the last four years or so. No other national forest in the region comes close to matching that record,” said Quinn. “In addition, the Tahoe has made significant progress in developing a workforce that is representative of the public we serve.”
Wiltshire, a National Environmental Policy Act planner, earned her recognition for leading a green team of district employees in making significant changes that reduced the district’s energy use and waste disposal.
The group first reviewed utility statements to determine where to focus efforts and developed a winterization plan.
Since last winter, using grant and other funding sources, the district has added insulation and replaced lighting, siding, thermostats, weather-stripping and windows to improve energy efficiency. In addition, the group refined the district recycling program to include more items. The work is ongoing, and Wiltshire’s team is now researching solar power placement at a remote guard station.
“Karie’s willingness to lead this team really gave others the incentive to jump on board and add their energy to this useful effort,” said Sierraville District Ranger Quentin Youngblood.
“Thanks to Karie and the green team, the district is spending less money on energy with a reduced impact on the environment.”
The PSW will present the awards in Sacramento on Nov. 20.