2011 volunteer award winners

Alice Krueper Award

The Alice Krueper Award is the PCTA’s top honor for outstanding trail maintenance volunteers. It is given to the person identified by the PCTA as having done an outstanding job of trail maintenance. Often, the award recipient has previously received a regional Trail Maintainer of the Year Award. The award represents a spirit of dedication as was exemplified by Alice Krueper, longtime volunteer trail maintainer. The award recipient is also seen as an excellent role model or example for other volunteers. In addition to being given a framed award, the award winner’s name has been etched among the names of past winners on the Alice Krueper Perpetual Plaque that is prominently displayed in the PCTA office in Sacramento.

Paul Cardinet

Paul lunch PCT 2011 -- 2 042In 2011, Paul put in more than 300 hours on three different projects. He worked with Lyons’ Pride in May. Then in July, his Can Do Crew project supported more than 40 volunteers working on the Inyo National Forest, including more than 15 Santa Rosa Junior College students. In September, Paul took on extra work by leading volunteers on the PCTA’s first-ever project in Yosemite National Park.



IMG_9599Paul is an outstanding trail volunteer leader in the spirit of dedication as was exemplified by Alice Krueper. For more than 15 years he has done an outstanding job leading volunteer trail crews in the maintenance of the Pacific Crest Trail. His unbeatable passion and tireless dedication for the Trail are inspiring, while his achievements will continue to benefit hikers and equestrian of the Pacific Crest Trail for countless years to come.


YNP paul w rock (2)Paul Cardinet received the 2011 Alice Krueper Award for outstanding volunteer of the year. Longtime PCTA member Harry Krueper and his son, Ron Krueper, presented the award. Ron is manager of the Inland Empire District for California State Parks and oversees the Mount San Jacinto and Anza -Borrego Desert state parks. Both parks include the PCT.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors extraordinary commitment and service to the PCT over many years.

Steve Queen

Steve_Queen_PhotoIn 1981, Steve thru-hiked the PCT. He was 18 and describes the experience as “the most profound, moving experience of my life.” After finishing graduate school in 1992, Steve felt the need to give back to the trail by “getting people to put tools into the dirt.” Helped by Larry Cash, then the President of the PCTA, he started the Mt. Hood chapter. Steve began the rigorous work of organizing, training, and inspiring a handful of trail maintainers.  The first work party in 1993 drew about 20 volunteers.

Over the past 18 years, the Mount Hood chapter has evolved slowly and deliberately, always emphasizing stewardship. It now boasts 400 active volunteers. Ten percent of the trail (221 miles) is under the Mount Hood Chapters’ yearly supervision and repair. Steve has fostered a phenomenal working relationship with the U.S. Forest Service. The chapter is considered a model trail organization.

Steve certainly exemplifies the qualities of a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. He has accumulated hundreds of volunteer hours as head of the chapter. More importantly, he has inspired others to try and do the same, enjoying their time on the trail as he does.

The PCT will benefit for untold years to come as a result of Steve’s achievement.

Photo caption: Steve Queen hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

Partner Agency Employee Award

The Partner Agency Employee Award is given to an agency employee who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to advance the mission of the Pacific Crest Trail Association and care for the Pacific Crest Trail.

Gary Paull, Dawn Erickson, and Peter Wagner

Gary, Dawn and Peter were presented with their awards June 30 at the open house for our new office in North Bend, Wash. These three agency partners were honored for their extraordinary efforts to relocate, reconstruct, and repair the PCT in the Mt Baker-Snoqualamie National Forest’s Glacier Peak Wilderness. The showed outstanding dedication, skill, and expertise in replacing six bridges on the trail, including the 265-foot Suiattle River bridge.

Mike Donald

IMG_9572Mike became the Mt. Hough District Ranger at approximately the same time Justin Kooyman started as the PCTA’s Northern Sierra Regional Representative in 2008. From the beginning, Mike has supported and embraced the partnership with PCTA. In spring of 2009, Mike spent an entire day in the dirt with PCTA volunteers. In 2011 and early 2012, Mike has put in a considerable amount of time in to working with PCTA and our shared volunteers and embracing PCTA as a partner in both the maintenance and the management of the trail. As further example of his dedication to volunteers, Mike participated in a two-day chainsaw training course with PCTA staff and volunteers in spring of 2012. PCTA is lucky to have such an energized and supportive partner.

Will Brennan

IMG_9574Will has been indispensable in his work with PCTA on the Sunrise Powerlink and Sunrise Powerlink Optimal Location Review. He did pre-scouting reconnaissance so that PCTA staff time was used effectively and efficiently, provided ground support for PCTA scouting, provided technical trail support and imported all the information into Google Earth for easy analysis. In addition, he has lent support to multiple projects including Alternative Spring Break, Penny Pines, the Los Angeles Corps Crew bridge removal project, and Annual Day Zero Kick-Off volunteer maintenance project. He has also participated in on-trail outreach during peak thru-hiker season. Finally he arranged for a chainsaw re-certification on the Descanso Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest.

Regional Trail Maintainer of the Year Award

The Regional Trail Maintainer of the Year award is given to an individual in each PCTA region who has distinguished him or herself in hours and service to trail maintenance. This year we realigned the award regions to coincide with our Regional Representative’s geographic areas.

Frank Trujillo – Southern California

IMG_9577Frank has been volunteering on the PCT for more than 12 years. A volunteer for both the Angles and San Bernardino national forests, he has helped maintain mile upon mile of the PCT. Along with trail maintenance, he has rehabbed signs and fences, built retaining walls, and worked on graffiti remediation. In 2011, he put in more than 500 hours in Southern California.

Harland Polk – Southern Sierra

Comments from Paul Cardinet who nominated Harland:

Harland Polk PCT 2009Harland exemplifies the Can Do Crew attitude. His first trail trip was 11 years ago, nine months after having quadruple cardiac bypass surgery. He was hesitant to start backpacking alone again, so he decided to join us on a backpack trial trip from Silver Lake to Marie Lakes, a mere 2,500-foot elevation gain in less than 6 miles. He has built trails, fallen trees, built bridges, constructed stone walls, and organized large camps. His latest reincarnation is being cook. To savor his Jambalaya or campfire roasted potatoes is worth a 2,500-foot climb. Several years ago we were doing a trail reroute, and building two bridges out of logs. We had been falling trees, stripping them and maneuvering them down 35- to 45-degree slopes. It’s the last day and we need to level the stringers to attach the planking for the surface, but we only have one Adze. Harland found my father’s hatchet, took a 4-pound single jack and turned that hatchet into an adze. He proceeded to level both stringers and at 3:30 went to the second bridge to help them finish. Harland has always asked and, continues to ask what he can do to make the camp or the worksite a better place. He consistently gives practical and emotional support to me and all the crewmembers.

Jodi Bailey – Northern Sierra

Comments from Paul Cardinet who nominated Jodi:

IMG_4857I met Jodi on a “Volunteers for Outdoor California” project six years ago in the Oakland hills. Since then, she has developed her trail work skills and her organizing skills considerably. She has volunteered on numerous PCTA trips. She joined us on the Can DO Crew five years ago and since then has worked on multiple trips in the Northern and Southern Sierra. She has led groups within crews, crews and attended multiple, trails skills college events. Amongst her many strengths is group communication. She is persistent and diplomatic in working with multiple agencies to coordinate trips. Last year when the Can Do Crew was working with a group of 44 volunteers at Reds Meadow, she led one of the crews and organized the crew leader debriefings at the end of each day. This led to a smooth and continuous work pattern. Last year she co-led the inaugural PCTA trail Crew in Yosemite and an inaugural crew in Tahoe basin.

Danny Wormington – Big Bend

Danny WDanny is always ready to get out on the trail and go to work no matter what the task. Danny is the sort of guy who will work hard all day with a Pulaski (his favorite tool) moving dirt and rocks, cutting brush with loppers or whatever hot, dirty work is needed to restore the trail. After working hard all day, Dan is the first guy to pitch in with the myriad little tasks around camp, which makes a week-long trip a success. Whether it is food prep, cooking, washing dishes or gathering firewood, Danny is right there to help get it done.

Tom Linde – Columbia Cascades

Tom LindeSince retiring from his career with the US Forest Service several years ago, Tom has been one of our star volunteers in the Southern Washington area. Tom seems to have a passion for both the material side and the administrative side of trails.  He’s a section adopter, performing regular maintenance on the Panther Creek section of the Pacific Crest Trail, often leading groups of youth and other volunteers in these tasks.  On the administrative level, Tom’s agency experience combined with his constructive attitude has proven an enormous help to the efforts of PCTA.  In 2008, when Regional Representative Dana Hendricks was new to PCTA, Tom brought to her attention the Title II grants available on the Gifford Pinchot.  Because he understood the intricacies of the application process and the history of typical awards, he was able to help Dana submit a successful application. PCTA has been doing Title II funded work on the Gifford Pinchot ever since. The other main administrative area in which Tom has been taken a leadership role is with our volunteer saw instructor program.  A leader in saw policy and instruction during his career, he brings a great deal of credibility to our own saw program, which is the first of its kind in developing a cadre of volunteer instructors.  He works on a committee with other volunteer experts and agency partners trail-wide to strategize upon best design and implementation, and to write policy for the program.

Jim Miller – North Cascades

Jim_Miller_PhotoJim has been instrumental in the founding and initial success of the North 350 Blades. His dedication as a volunteer trail maintainer, crew leader, recruiter, donor of equipment, tool maintainer and PCT advocate exemplify a Regional Trail Maintainer of the Year. Jim’s involvement and active leadership from day one has insured the success of this newly founded group. From the humble beginnings in 2010 on 400 hours, the group’s time on the trail grew to more than 1,600 hours because of the invaluable contributions by Jim in 2011. Without his active participation in all phases of the volunteer effort – from planning and tool procurement to recruiting, agency coordination and leading – Jim has enabled the success of this volunteer chapter.

Extra Mile Award

The Extra Mile Award recognizes the person who goes above and beyond.

Korbi Thalhammer

IMG_9555Korbi has been an outstanding advocate for the Pacific Crest Trail. Whether it’s on the Trail in the Northern Sierra Region or in Washington, D.C. at the Hike the Hill Advocacy week, Korbi has shown true leadership in the recruitment of volunteers and organization of maintenance projects. We are proud to present Korbi with the Extra Mile Award.

Diamond Hitch Award

The Diamond Hitch Award recognizes the packing services provided by a volunteer packer whose passion and ongoing commitment assists with maintenance of the PCT in Wilderness Areas and remote locations.

Doc Wesselius

pctamtg6-2.pdfFor the many years, Doc Wesselius has been an outstanding leader uniting the equestrian and hiking communities on the PCT in Southern Washington. His skills as a packer and organizer have made possible critical reconstruction projects in remote wilderness areas along the Trail. In 2011, he put in 91 hours packing for trail crews. Off the Trail, he has performed a tremendous service to the trail community by authoring articles, giving presentations, and circulating photos that spread the word about the valuable role of equestrians in trail maintenance and the importance of partnerships. His accomplishments will continue to benefit backcountry trail lovers for years to come.

Labor of Love Award

The Labor of Love Award recognizes a specific individual for their exemplary work on a particular project benefiting the organization. This award recognizes individuals for their non-trail maintenance work that contributes significantly to the organization

Brent Briggs

Brent’s dedicated service distributing information has gone a long way to promote the Trail as a significant resource for the enjoyment of hikers and equestrians and supporting our numerous partnerships. Brent is self-directed and detail-oriented and a great asset to the Pacific Crest Trail Association. His work has inspired and guided many to this crown jewel of the National Trails System.