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Wednesday, 24 December 2014 00:00

Forest Service wins public engagement awards

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U.S. Forest Service employees in North Carolina recently received a handful of awards for their work in 2014, including a community engagement award for the forest planning process in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests. 

“I’m extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of our Forest Service employees,” said Kristin Bail, forest supervisor of the Forest Service’s National Forests in North Carolina. “These employees went above and beyond the call of duty to fulfill the agency’s mission.”

• A group of 16 Forest Service employees won for their “exemplary work in demonstrating innovative approaches to building partnerships and strengthening relationships” during the forest planning process. 

The team conducted three public input sessions during fiscal year 2014, attracting hundreds of stakeholders. The meetings included both technical presentations and interactive tasks. Since the plan revision process began in 2012, the team has conducted more than 17 public meetings.

• Five Forest Service employees received a group award for developing and enhancing community relationships with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. In July, the new Snowbird Youth Center in Robbinsville opened, constructed on 20 acres of land in the Nantahala National Forest close to the Cheoah Ranger District office. The center, affiliated with the Boys & Girls Club of America, serves children ages 5-18 with programs including Cherokee language classes, social skills development, cultural craft classes, a computer lab and physical fitness programs. The center will help connect kids with nature and the great outdoors.

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