PCTA honors trail defenders at event

A highlight of PCTA’s first Trail Dirt Live in Stevenson, Wash., on Oct. 24 was the opportunity to honor local volunteers who were recipients of last year’s PCTA awards. Another virtual round of applause for the following PCT defenders:

Regional Maintainer of the Year, Columbia Cascades: Leif Hovin
As a Caretaker with the Mt Hood Chapter, Leif tends a 12.5 mile section of the PCT near Mount Hood, plus a couple of additional segments that he “fosters.” Leif has been a volunteer saw Instructor for four seasons. Not only has he been instrumental in organizing the volunteer saw training event near the Gorge, but he’s traveled all along the PCT in the Pacific Northwest to help provide saw training and certifications to others. In addition to organizing crews for his own sections, Leif volunteers for many other work parties. He’s been extremely supportive of volunteer development in the White Pass area by leading crews for three seasons, and he’s also joined several week-long volunteer vacation crews over the years. Leif accrued an incredible 550 hours for PCTA during 2013 with a positive, can-do attitude that inspires us all.


Leif Hovin, Columbia Cascades Maintainer of the Year

Labor of Love Award: Tammy Turner
For the last three years, Tammy Turner has been the Volunteer Coordinator for the Mount Hood Chapter. Unlike many groups, the Mount Hood Chapter operates trail crews year round. In 2013, Tammy helped organize volunteers for more than 60 crews. She also helps organize and facilitate a wide range of events, festivities, and presentations. Tammy has been a cornerstone of the hugely popular Trail Skills College event in Cascade Locks. Although she participates as a scout and crew member, her highest value is seen in her organizational skills that support the work of the chapter behind the scenes. Tammy recently commented that other volunteers had begun to ask if she had taken on too much in her volunteer work for PCTA. She replied that while other parts of life may be stressful, it’s the PCTA work that is “good for me…it’s an outlet or release.” This exemplifies Tammy’s generous spirit, and how she’s a great selection for the Labor of Love award.


Liz Bergeron and Dana Hendricks with Tammy Turner (center) receiving the Labor of Love award.

Alice Krueper Award: Roberta Cobb
The Alice Krueper Award is the PCTA’s top honor for the most outstanding trail maintenance volunteer trail-wide. The award represents a spirit of dedication as was exemplified by Alice Krueper. It typically goes to someone who’s an excellent role model for other volunteers and is highly respected by agency partners. Roberta Cobb won PCTA’s Regional Maintainer of the year in 2006 and has never slowed down. She now serves as Chair of the Mount Hood Chapter, a PCTA chapter known for being highly-organized. PCTA Regional Representative Dana Hendricks said “Roberta is the epitome of volunteer professionalism.” With 20 years of experience working on trails, she exhibits excellence in both the technical side and the people side of volunteer projects. Chapter founder Steve Queen describes why Roberta makes such a good leader: “She has a level head and sees the big picture as well as the small picture. She’s very safety conscious and she makes volunteers feel appreciated.” Roberta is being honored this year in particular for her leadership in the smooth transition from Steve and for the dedication to moving the Mount Hood Chapter to new heights.


Roberta Cobb recieving the Alice Krueper Award

Agency Partner of the Year: Winston Rall
PCTA’s ground-breaking Volunteer Saw Instructor program had its beginning in 2007 when Winston Rall, U.S. Forest Service Region 6 Health and Safety Specialist, recognized that scarcity of saw certification opportunities was an impediment to volunteer trail work. Winston foresaw that capable volunteer organizations could become self-sufficient by conducting their own certification programs. He set about paving the way for agency authorization of such programs by writing agreements and policy at both the regional and national levels. Recognizing PCTA’s excellent safety record and the expertise among its ranks, Winston selected a few PCTA sawyers and personally trained them to conduct saw trainings and evaluations. Several PCTA volunteers in Oregon and Washington became instructors, and have been working with individual forests along the PCT, teaching and certifying at training events and work-parties. This program is gradually expanding to become trail-wide. Winston continues to play a role in the ongoing development of PCTA’s Saw Training Program and we thank him for his remarkable vision and dedication.

Above and Beyond Award: Volunteer Saw Instructors Tom Linde, John Cunningham, Leif Hovin, Kim Owen, David Roe, and Bill Hawley.
Because of the good reputation of its volunteer sawyers, Winston Rall selected PCTA to help pilot a groundbreaking program in which volunteers train and certify other volunteers in bucking saw operations. In order to qualify, potential instructors had to demonstrate not only highly proficient use of the saw, but also excellent communication and coordination skills. These six Volunteer Saw Instructors have led the way and set the bar very high for safety standards and teaching excellence. Some agency partners have even been heard to comment that PCTA instruction is better than what the agency is offering at times. The instructors have shown great dedication to our saw program by travelling up and down the PCT to conduct multiple saw skills workshops for PCTA volunteers. PCTA is truly honored to be represented by outstanding teachers who go above and beyond for the sake of the trail.


Volunteer Saw Instructors (Above and Beyond) with Winston Rall (Agency Partner of the year). L to R: David Roe, Kim Owen, Winston Rall, Bill Hawley. Not pictured: Leif Hovin, John Cunningham

Author: Dana Hendricks

Dana Hendricks, our Columbia Cascades Regional Representative, is in charge of the PCT from Windigo Pass, Oregon through the Columbia River Gorge. She lives with her husband, Paul, and her little hiker, Gus, just a couple miles from the Bridge of the Gods. She has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Oregon.