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northern region

‘Unsung Heroes’ Help Find Infant Left Deep in the Woods

Forest Service law enforcement officers Nicholas Scholz and Patrick Legg helped find the needle in a 2 million-acre haystack.

The needle was a 5-month-old infant, and the haystack is the Lolo National Forest in Montana. Last week, the officers were each honored as an Unsung Hero for their work in helping to find the infant who many feared might be dead after a man reported he had wrecked his car with his girlfriend’s son inside. At one point, the man even said he had killed, then buried the baby.

Meeting the Next Generation Who will Carry the Torch as Wilderness, Natural Resource Stewards

While my days of adventuring into the back country are by no means over, it is becoming increasingly apparent that my generation is approaching the inevitable time when we must pass the torch on to the next generation of wilderness and natural resource stewards.

On my recent trip to Missoula, Montana, I was privileged and extremely pleased to see a group of young people who will help carry that torch. My heart is more at peace about our future after my experience viewing the U.S. Forest Service movie “Untrammeled” at the University of Montana.

U.S. Forest Service Recognized for Energy Conservation Efforts

The Forest Service’s Technology and Development Center recently received the White House’s 2013 GreenGov Presidential Award and the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2013 Federal Energy and Water Management Award for its net zero energy facility project in San Dimas, Calif. A facility earns a net zero energy designation if it produces more renewable energy than it uses per year. This is the first facility of its kind in the Department of Agriculture.

The Department of Energy also recognized the Center for the same facility project and the Forest Service’s Northern Region for executing a $2.6 million Energy Savings Performance Contract in Fiscal Year 2012.

Forest Service Program Introduces Kids to Natural Resource Careers

In an age where technology tends to focus the attention of youth indoors, getting kids outdoors and interested in natural resource careers is even more vital today.

Since 1998, an innovative U.S. Forest Service seven-week summer program in central Montana has been achieving that goal by immersing high school students in forest management. They gather data and present findings to Forest Service officials and other representatives in their local communities.

Students involved with the Youth Forest Monitoring Program spend the summer monitoring the health of the national forests at a variety of different locations in the area, but one of the high points is their three-day trip into the Scapegoat Wilderness on the Helena National Forest northwest of Lincoln, Mont. Though the area isn’t far from where many of these students have grown up, the trip gives them the opportunity to experience a protected area many had never visited before. Earlier this year, 13 students along with four field instructors were there to gather data on recreation impacts, water quality and document the spread of invasive weeds.

First Forest Service Volunteer Receives Recognition

It is quite a phenomenon to be the first of anything and to be recognized for it.  It is especially noteworthy when you have a passion for the land, and are willing to work and care for it as a volunteer.  That’s what Gloria Owen did as the first official volunteer in the U.S. Forest Service’s history.  Owen was recently honored for providing her time and talent in the Northern Region working as a volunteer camp cook, camp tender and crew member on the “Mary Mary” trail on the Moose Creek Ranger District, Nez Perce National Forest in Idaho.  She was presented with an embroidered Pendleton blanket and certificate recognizing her role and service by Regional Forester Leslie Weldon.