While not our local coverage area we commend our neighbors to the south.
Porterville – The Sequoia National Forest’s Western Divide Ranger District was awarded “District of the Year” at the Regional Forester & Research Station Director 2021 Honor Awards during a virtual ceremony held Thursday, December 9, 2021.
According to Forest Supervisor Teresa Benson, District employees were recognized for their hard work and dedication while managing critical work on Forest lands, working with partners, and providing exceptional service to the public. “Employees worked together on two substantial projects to respond to the SQF Complex, remediating hazard trees along roads and restoring the landscape.”
The workforce burned over 1000 piles at the Trail of 100 Giants in the spring of 2021. The full value of this work was realized when the 2021 Windy Fire burned through the iconic trail. “This work protected monarch sequoias and the trail from high severity fire damage, including the tree where President Clinton proclaimed the Giant Sequoia National Monument.”
The nomination also recognized the workforce for individual accomplishments and recognizing the contributions of all employees. “Our workforce embraces and reflects the true cognitive and intellectual diversity that comes from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences,” stated District Ranger Eric LaPrice. “We are all unique individuals with our own story on how we came to be here.”
“For example, one of our employees is from Los Angeles, another is from North Carolina, another is a member of the Tule River Indian Tribe, and another is from the shores of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania.” Ranger LaPrice said. “We all have different backgrounds including having grown up in National Parks and work in the private sector. One employee, recently retired, grew up in Tulare County and worked on the Sequoia for over 40 years. Every employee is appreciated for who they are and their contributions to our success.”
The Western Divide Ranger District is one of three unique Districts in the Sequoia National Forest. “Public servants bring a positive impact that is often overlooked,” Forest Supervisor Benson expressed. “The Regional Honor Awards are a way to recognize their amazing accomplishments and service.”