News Release

USDA and DOI Announce Annual National Fire Plan Award Winners

15 individuals and groups recognized for helping to protect lives, communities and natural resources

Albuquerque, NM
February 16, 2005 -

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and the Interior and the National Association of State Foresters have announced the winners of the third-annual National Fire Plan awards.

"The National Fire Plan, under the President's Healthy Forests Initiative, is a long-term commitment and investment to protect communities, natural resources, and most importantly, the lives of firefighters and the public," said Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment David Tenny. "These awards showcase the tremendous dedication across the nation of those who work daily to reduce the threats of wildland fire."

"I applaud the award winners for their commitment to improving the health of our forests and protecting communities," said Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management Rebecca Watson. "Through their efforts they have made our environment safer with active forest and rangeland management."

Tenny and Watson recognized winners in seven fire plan award categories, which are founded on the common objectives of the National Fire Plan's 10-year Comprehensive Strategy, and the Healthy Forests Initiative, including the Healthy Forests Restoration Act. The awards and the winners are:

Excellence in Collaboration (For outstanding teamwork involving public and private partners, and demonstrating innovation and commitment to the key points of the National Fire Plan.)

Southeast Fire Ecology Partnership (Fla.)

  • Caroline Noble, fire ecologist, National Park Service
  • Dave Brownlie, fire ecologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Bruce Davenport, fire ecologist, USDA Forest Service
  • Ron Masters, director of research, Tall Timbers Research Station
  • Paula Seamon, U.S. fire management coordinator, The Nature Conservancy

Uncompahgre Plateau Project (Colo.)

Idaho State Fire Plan Working Group

Innovation in Biomass Utilization (For work in developing new uses or technologies for materials removed in hazardous fuels reduction projects.)

Roundwood Engineered Structures Dream Team (Mont.)

  • State and Private Forestry Technology Marketing Unit (Wisc.)
  • State and Private Forestry Cooperative Forestry, Forest Service Northern Region
  • Bitterroot National Forest
  • Montana Development Corporation
  • Porterbilt Company, Inc.
  • Bitterroot Resource Conservation and Development Council
  • Beaudette Consulting Engineers
  • David Green, Forest Products Laboratory, USDA Forest Service (Wisc.)
  • Friends of the Darby Library
  • Ron LaRue, Architect
  • Travelers' Rest Preservation and Heritage Association

Winn Ranger District, Kisatchie National Forest (La.)

Excellence in Rehabilitation and Restoration (For outstanding work in post-fire rehabilitation and restoration work.)

White Mountain Apache Tribal BAER Project (Ariz.)

Flathead National Forest (Mont.)

  • Swan Lake Ranger District
  • Hungry Horse Ranger District
  • Spotted Bear Ranger District
  • Glacier View Ranger District

Excellence in Hazardous Fuels Reduction (For implementing exemplary hazardous fuel treatment projects that have resulted in effective treatment, techniques or technology transfer to reduce the risk of wildland fire to communities, forests and rangelands.)

Color Country Fuels and WUI Committee (Utah)

Excellence in Research (A new award category for research that helped to more efficiently and effectively attain National Fire Plan goals.)

BlueSky Community Modeling Consortium (Ore.)

Dr. Carol Miller, Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service (Mont.)

Excellence in Firefighter Preparedness, Training and Safety (For exemplary work to improve and enhance firefighter preparedness, training and safety.)

Virginia Department of Forestry

Pacific Northwest Region Rappel Academy Cadre, (Ore.)

Excellence in Community Assistance (For programs that enhance the capabilities of rural fire departments, help the public better understand wildland fire, and reduce the risk and impacts of wildfire to communities.)

Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands

Fire Management Staff, Natchez Trace Parkway, National Park Service (Miss., Ala., and Tenn.)

The National Fire Plan, under the President's Healthy Forests Initiative, is a cooperative, long-term effort of the USDA Forest Service, DOI, the National Association of State Foresters and the Western Governors' Association for the federal government and state partners to manage impacts of wildland fire to our nation's communities. Additional information is available at http://www.healthyforests.org/.