FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2013
Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark honors DNR employees for achievements
Department staff honored for public service, safety, innovation, leadership, and Puget Sound recovery efforts
OLYMPIA – Five employees of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) were honored for their outstanding efforts to promote safety, innovation, leadership, public service, and the restoration of Puget Sound.
“No resource is more valuable to the sustainability of Washington state-owned trust lands than the dedicated employees of DNR,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, who presented DNR’s Annual Commissioner Awards at a brief ceremony in the Natural Resources Building on Monday.
Commissioner’s Award winners
The awards and recipients announced by Commissioner Goldmark were:
Innovation Award: Chris Rasor, from the DNR Pacific Cascade Region, Littlerock, for developing new efficiencies in replanting greater numbers of trees on state trust lands.
Leadership Award: Alex Nagygyor, from the DNR Olympia office, for effectively leading his staff in the department’s Engineering Division to create new processes that assure clean water resources on state trust lands when building roads and carrying out other management activities.
Public Service Award: Daniel Omdal, from the DNR Olympia office, for collaborating and sharing his expertise in forest pathology with private and public landowners and forest managers.
Puget Sound Recovery Award: Michele Zukerberg, from the DNR South Puget Sound Region, Enumclaw, for creating partnerships with federal, state and local agencies to raise funds needed for restoring state conservation lands at Woodard Bay near Olympia and Stavis Creek on Hood Canal.
Safety Award: Bradford Pruitt, from the DNR Olympia office, for designing and implementing training programs and procedures to improve boating safety for employees in the department’s aquaculture program.
Also recognized today by Commissioner Goldmark was DNR Law Enforcement Officer Ron Whitehall for actions to protect public safety last October. Whitehall received the department’s ‘Supernova Award’ for acting decisively to close the Walker Valley ORV area, a popular DNR recreation area in Skagit County, after a wildfire broke out there. Then while on night patrol of the closed area, Whitehall chased and apprehended two armed suspects who had been sought by Mount Vernon police.
Three DNR employees received a special commendation for safety from Commissioner Goldmark. David Brown and Bob Stein, from the DNR Southeast Region, Ellensburg; and David Adams, from DNR Aviation Program, Olympia, were honored for their actions during the Taylor Bridge Fire last August. The three coordinated efforts to safely rescue two civilians who were at imminent risk during the first two hours of the wildfire. Goldmark will present the three with award certificates during a visit to Yakima this April.
DNR manages about 3 million acres of state-owned trust lands for revenue to trust beneficiaries including public schools and universities as well as public services in several counties. The agency also manages about 2.6 million acres of aquatic lands, including the bedlands under Puget Sound. Peter Goldmark is Washington’s 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889.
Photos of the DNR Commissioner’s Awards recipients are on DNR’s Flickr stream:
Media Contact: Bob Redling, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1149, firstname.lastname@example.org
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