USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
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News Releases 2019

USDA Forest Service Pacific Region and Research Station Honors Employees & Partners at Awards Ceremony

For Immediate Release: December 13, 2019

Contact: Jonathan Groveman, Pacific Southwest Region Public Affairs,, (707) 562-8995

Frank Lake holds the Distinguished Science Award with members of PSW leadership.
Dr. Frank Lake, center, was honored with the Distinguished Science Award.

VALLEJO, Calif. — The USDA Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5) and the Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) teamed up to present a series of 2019 partner and employee honor awards during a ceremony in Sacramento on Wednesday, Dec. 11. The ceremony is an annual celebration of the successes and outstanding contributions to protecting America's national forests. This year marked the first joint Honor Awards Ceremony between the two California-based USDA Forest Service entities.

The 2019 Partnership of the Year Award, one of the most prestigious of the evening's awards, was bestowed upon the Trinity Divide Lands Acquisition Team comprised of The Trust for Public Lands, Pacific Crest Trail Association, Michigan-California Timber Company, Shasta Trinity and Klamath National Forests, and the Pacific Southwest Regional Land Staff.

The team was recognized for their efforts towards the acquisition of 10,300 acres of land in Northern California along the Trinity Divide that was incorporated into the Shasta-Trinity and Klamath National Forests. This acquisition was one of the largest single Pacific Crest Trail protection efforts to have ever occurred and contains 17 miles of this trail over a 30-mile stretch.

These properties also include areas that provide water sources and meadows that contain wonderful habitat for many sensitive and listed plant and wildlife species. Additionally, the top of Trinity Divide is also home to a select species of plants found nowhere else in the world.

The theme for this year's Honor Awards was Strength through Core Values; building resilience into our most important resources.

Awards presented in the other Regional Honor Award categories included:

Ecological Restoration

  • All Lands, Watershed and Forest Health: California Climate Change Investments Grant Support Team: Jason Ko, Joe Sherlock, Ramiro Rojas, Jerry Bird, Pacific Southwest Region's Sacramento Office & State and Private Forestry Staff
  • Engaging Youth: Shasta McCloud Management Unit, Shasta Trinity NF

Healthy Workplace/Workforce

  • Cultural Transformation Diversity &c Inclusion: Eldorado Recruitment Group, Eldorado NF
  • Safety Leadership: Eric Vane, Scott Kusumoto, District Rangers, & Partners, Inyo NF
  • Emergency Response: Gregory Stenmo, Angeles NF
  • Sustainable Operations and Energy Management: Off-Grid Energy Savings Performance Contract ENABLE Team, Pacific Southwest Regional & National Technology and Development Program

Special Accomplishment

  • District of the Year: Devil's Garden and Warner Mountain Ranger Districts, Modoc NF
  • Rookie of the Year: Chailenn Young - San Bernardino NF
  • Leading in the Business Environment: Captain Sonny St. John, R5 Law Enforcement & Investigations
  • Leading in the Natural Resources Environment: Ben Haupt, Klamath NF
  • Leading in the Public Services Environment: O'Dell Tucker- San Bernardino NF

"We are proud to pay special tribute to those who demonstrated outstanding professionalism, excellent customer service, and exemplary leadership in advancing the mission of the Forest Service," Regional Forester Randy Moore said. "We congratulate not just our winners, but all of the nominees for a job well done. The Pacific Southwest Region, the lands and the public are better for their contributions."

Acting Director of PSW Valerie Hipkins acknowledged the importance of teamwork within the organization.

"It is phenomenal to see everyone working together to meet the Forest Service's mission," said Hipkins. "Seeing our work together over this past year, I'm very encouraged by how research and development is integrating into the management of national forests in the region."

Awards presented in the 2019 PSW Director's Honor Award Categories:

  • Science Delivery Award: Adam Cummings, ORISE Fellow/Karen Pope, Wildlife Biologist, PSW-Arcata.
  • Distinguished Science Award: Dr. Frank K. Lake, Research Ecologist - PSW-Arcata.
  • Community Enhancement and Diversity Award: Lief Gallagher, Ecologist, PSW-Davis.
  • Innovation and Service Award: Jace Goddard, Workforce Services Supervisor, PSW-Davis.
  • Improving the Station Workplace Award: Jon Mitsuda, Facility Manager, PSW-Hilo.

Headquartered in Albany, California, the Pacific Southwest Research Station is part of the U.S. Forest Service’s Research and Development branch developing and communicating science needed to sustain forest ecosystems and other benefits to nature and society. Pacific Southwest Research Station scientists are engaged in research across a network of 14 experimental watersheds, ranges and forests and eight research facilities in California, Hawaii and the U.S.–affiliated Pacific Islands. Research is organized into five research units: conservation of biodiversity, ecosystem function and health, fire and fuels, urban ecosystems and social dynamics, as well as Pacific Islands forestry. For more information, visit

Region 5 includes the 18 National Forests in California and includes responsibility and oversight of State and Private Forestry in Hawaii and U.S. Territories in the Pacific.


Pacific Southwest Research Station/USDA Forest Service
Science that makes a difference
Last Modified: Dec 16, 2019 01:20:53 PM