Stewardship Group Receives National Award

Each year, the U.S. Forest Service recognizes groups and individuals who significantly improved the health of watersheds across the United States. This year, the Lakeview Stewardship Group has received the “2014 Chief’s Meeting America’s Needs Award” for their forest restoration accomplishments.

The Lakeview Stewardship Group was recognized for their inspiration and model in forest conservation by incorporating ecological restoration and community values in land management goals. Jane O’Keefe, founding member of the Lakeview Stewardship Group; Paul Harlan, VicePresident of Resources for The Collins Companies (also a founding member); and Jody Perozzi, Program Planning Specialist for the Fremont-Winema National Forest, represented the group at the Washington, D.C. ceremony on December 5.

“We, the Lake County Board of Commissioners, think it is outstanding that the National Office of the Forest Service and Chief Tom Tidwell recognize the great accomplishments of the Lakeview Stewardship Group,” said Dan Shoun, Lake County Commissioner. “The stewardship group is an exceptional collaborative model, that has led to many great restoration projects within the Lakeview Stewardship Unit. I believe that the continued commitment by the members of the Stewardship Group is one of the main reasons that the LSG was chosen for this award.”

Jane O’Keefe, founding member of the Lakeview Stewardship Group; Paul Harlan, Vice-President of Resources for The Collins Companies (also a founding member); and Jody Perozzi, Program Planning Specialist for the Fremont-Winema National Forest, represented the group at the Washington, D.C. ceremony on December 5.

Jane O’Keefe, founding member of the Lakeview Stewardship Group; Paul Harlan, Vice-President of Resources for The Collins Companies (also a founding member); and Jody Perozzi, Program Planning Specialist for the Fremont-Winema National Forest, represented the group at the Washington, D.C. ceremony on December 5.

The Lakeview Stewardship Group, formed in 1998, is a well-established collaborative that assists with project initiation and planning on restoration and vegetation management projects within the 500,000 acre Lakeview Federal Stewardship Unit located on the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

This diverse group is made up of representatives from the Defenders of Wildlife, Fremont-Winema National Forest, Lake County Board of Commissioners, Lake County Resources Initiative, Oregon Department of Economic and Community Development, Oregon Wild, The Collins Companies, The Larch Company, The Nature Conservancy, The Wilderness Society, and local citizens.

For the past 16 years, the Lakeview Stewardship Group has faced many challenges and worked hard to ensure present and future generations have the opportunity to enjoy National Forest Lands.

The group embraces three primary goals for the Lakeview Federal Stewardship Unit:

  1. Sustain and restore a healthy, diverse, and resilient forest ecosystem that can accommodate human and natural disturbances.
  2. Sustain and restore the land’s capacity to absorb, store, and distribute quality water.
  3. Provide opportunities for people to realize their material, spiritual, and recreational values and relationships with the forest.

The Lakeview Stewardship Group has made considerable progress toward achieving the goals of the Unit. Check out more of the group’s accomplishments here.

“There is no denying that this collaborative effort has been extremely successful and is a great model for other places that are looking for ways to restore forest health and create local jobs, said Jim Walls, Executive Director of the LCRI.”

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