Region 10 wilderness ranger wins 2018 Aldo Leopold Award


Karisa Garner leads selected “artist in residence” on multiple-day kayak trips in the Tebenkof Wilderness. USDA Forest Service photo Brad Hunter.

ALASKA – Karisa Garner, wilderness ranger on the Petersburg Ranger District, is the recipient of the national 2018 Aldo Leopold Award for Overall Wilderness Stewardship. Karisa is recognized for her excellence in wilderness stewardship because she has successfully grown the Wilderness program through education, field monitoring and bringing together staff, partners and citizens around a common stewardship purpose.

Karisa found new ways to solve problems and steward the 610,030 acres in Tebenkof Bay, Kuiu, Petersburg Creek-Duncan Saltchuck and the Stikine-LeConte wilderness area.

Some examples of Karisa’s award winning efforts include:

  • Bringing an artist-in-residence to the Wilderness annually to elevate awareness of Tongass National Forest wild spaces
  • Coordinating with partners and implementing a large-scale invasive species monitoring and hand-removal project
  • Maintaining an up-to-date Wilderness education plan with Leave No Trace and Wilderness Stewardship objectives
  • Establishing a week-long field education program with Petersburg and Kake middle school students to monitor stream morphology
  • Leading a pilot program for Wilderness character monitoring

Congratulations Karisa and keep up the good work!