LANDER, WY—On Saturday, Oct. 8th, NOLS, a global wilderness education school headquartered in Lander, WY, will award the 2016 Stewardship Award to Jay Pence who is the Teton Basin District Ranger for the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. Presented annually since 1990, The NOLS Stewardship Award and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated exceptional stewardship of public lands and the environment.
“We chose to honor Mr. Pence for his years of public service to promote stewardship, engage youth, enhance outdoor recreation, and conserve our public lands. His partnership with diverse nonprofit organizations on public lands stewardship projects is great example of how personal initiative can make a big difference for our natural resources,” said Aaron Bannon, director of NOLS Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability.
Pence is carrying on a long family tradition of public service, defined by a commitment to promoting responsible recreation, fair consideration of multiple use, responsiveness to the public, and an emphasis on education as a management tool. He has proven to be a leader in his fifteen years as District Ranger. Pence has worked to resolve a long-standing management challenge, balancing the impacts of different users to deliver the experiences expected on the Forest.
Notably, Pence was an invaluable asset in a successful emergency helicopter evacuation from a NOLS winter course deep in the wilderness. His skillful coordination and responsiveness to the situation was an affirmation to his growing legacy in public service.
“My Father was a Forest Service District Ranger for fourteen years.” Pence concedes that managing a portion of the National Forest System for the citizens of the United States is not a simple undertaking. In over fifteen years as a District Ranger, Pence offered that a solid knowledge of ecosystems and the lands he manages, is only a portion of what is required to be successful. “My job, and my District’s relevance, is dependent on our ability to work with the people we serve. I believe that I have the best staff and partners in the system. While it is impossible to meet everyone’s desires, I believe we are highly successful, in part due to our cooperators. NOLS has consistently worked with my District to help the Forest serve the next generations of recreationist and public enjoying our Forest. NOLS Teton Valley has been a reliable partner working with my staff to improve trails and the watersheds we manage. While I appreciate receiving the stewardship award, it really is a recognition of my staff and our partners,” said Pence.
NOLS is the largest, most comprehensive wilderness school that educates our students to step forward into an expedition, wilderness medicine, custom education or risk services offering. Graduates have a lifelong desire for leadership, commitment to continued skills development, and ongoing education. Since 1965, NOLS has embraced and explored the unknown, from field- and classroom-based courses to being leaders in wilderness medicine education. To discover the NOLS experience or to bring a course to your business or organization, call (800) 710-NOLS (6657) or visit www.nols.edu.