Regional Forest Service employees honored at national awards ceremony |

Regional Forest Service employees honored at national awards ceremony

White River National Forest employees on the White River National Forest Environmental Analysis and Decision Making Innovation team with Chief Forester Vicki Christiansen (front center left) and other U.S. Forest Service leaders at the Forest Service national headquarters.
Courtesy U.S. Forest Service

FRISCO — The U.S. Forest Service recognized two teams from the Rocky Mountain Region during the 2019 Chief’s and Under Secretary’s Awards in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

Chief Forester Vicki Christiansen presented Scott Fitzwilliams, forest supervisor with the White River National Forest, and his team an award for their work in instituting several tools that helped to reduce planning document processing time by 80% while keeping the federal analysis and public participation processes intact, according to a news release.

“These results are not one-off successes,” Fitzwilliams said in the release. “Rather they are part of a cultural shift we’ve instilled and led, allowing us to add tremendous capacity while maintaining workplace trust.”

Along with Fitzwilliams, Lisa Stoeffler, Bill Jackson, Roger Poirier, Elizabeth Roberts, Justin Anderson and Matthew Erhman were recognized for their contributions around environmental analysis and decision making.

Christiansen also acknowledged a number of individuals with the Under Secretary’s Award, including Diane Hitchings, Debra Ryan and Don Dressler from the Rocky Mountain Regional Office; Hilary Santana and Devon Cotsamire from the White River National Forest; Travis Fack from the Bighorn National Forest; and Anita Harper from the Shoshone National Forest for their special-use modernization efforts. The team was recognized for updating the way the Forest Service interacts with its permitting customers, cutting backlog in half and increasing annual permit revenue by $15 million.

“Our employees and partners demonstrated remarkable innovation, creativity and dedication,” acting regional forester Jennifer Eberlien said in the release. “I want to give my sincerest gratitude to those recognized as well as all of our 2,000 regional employees across five state for their part in delivering our mission every day.”

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