A Western Montana man and former wilderness ranger recently received a national award for tending to the recreation programs in the Cabinet Mountains and wilderness area.
Joel Sather, recreation technician on the Cabinet Ranger District, traveled with his wife Carmin to Washington, D.C., to accept a Chief’s Award from U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.
Sather, who has worked for the Forest Service for 25 years, primarily on the Kootenai National Forest, was one of 14 Forest Service employees nationwide to win the Chief’s Award for 2014.
Sather was presented his award for his efforts in partnership, volunteers and outdoor education. He was lauded for his work on motorized recreation trails, getting kids involved in stewardship and wilderness investigation, his work on Star Peak Historic Trail and coordinating volunteer efforts from diverse groups.
In his thank-you speech, Sather got a laugh from the audience when he admitted to not knowing which way was north in D.C., and that he was more comfortable in a pair of boots and a backpack with a cross-cut saw on his shoulder.
Sather, who grew up in Lincoln County and graduated from Libby High School, was the wilderness ranger in the western half of the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness for six seasons in the late 1990s. He accepted the recreation technician job on the Cabinet District in 2010.
He and his wife Carmin and their two children live in Noxon.
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