PCTA’s Annual Award Winners

The Pacific Crest Trail Association’s annual awards recognize people and partners for their extraordinary dedication to the Pacific Crest Trail.

Below is a summary of those recognized throughout 2020. Some award winners listed were selected in previous years but were unable to be recognized until this year. The PCT will benefit from these trail champions’ outstanding contributions for years to come.

Congratulations and thank you to all!

Alice Krueper Award

This is the PCTA’s top honor recognizing outstanding trail maintenance volunteers. The award represents a spirit of dedication exemplified by Alice Krueper, who devoted the latter part of her life to organizing volunteer work parties in Southern California and built the foundation for the amazing PCTA Southern California Trail Gorillas. Often, the award recipient has previously received a Regional Trail Maintainer of the Year award.

Don Bailey

Connor Swift, PCTA’s Northern Sierra Regional Representative, presented Don Bailey with the Alice Krueper Award in December during an online meeting with staff and volunteer leaders from the Tahoe Rim Trail Association.

The Alice Krueper Award was presented to Don Bailey for his instrumental role in the reroute of the PCT at Echo Summit near Lake Tahoe. For the last two years, Don has taken a significant role in the project with the PCTA and the Tahoe Rim Trail Association. His exceptional efforts include leading volunteers in the field, attending meetings and site visits with partners and installing/retrieving trail counters, all while maintaining his adopted section of the PCT/TRT. Don’s outstanding dedication and leadership benefits fellow volunteers and trail users alike.

Jim Richter

Jim Richter received the Alice Krueper Award during a virtual awards presentation in April with PCTA staff and fellow volunteers. Photo of Jim from 2017 with PCTA’s Executive Director, Liz Bergeron (left) and PCTA’s Southern California Regional Representative, Anitra Kass.

Jim Richter, a leader for the PCTA’s Trail Gorillas, ensured an incredible amount of trail repair work was completed after the Powerhouse Fire. His commitment to trail maintenance projects, vast technical skill set, and exceptional volunteer leadership are truly remarkable. The PCT and trail users benefit from Jim’s dedication to stewardship of the trail.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award honors extraordinary commitment and service to the PCT over many years. This award is not presented every year.

John Hachey

John Hachey was recognized during an online presentation with the PCTA’s Trail Gorillas in December. John’s inspiring legacy lives on through the Trail Gorillas.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented posthumously to John Hachey. A beloved volunteer with the PCTA’s Trail Gorillas, John was a highly skilled and extremely dedicated maintainer who was, and still is, deeply respected by his peers and all the volunteers who joined him on his projects. John received the PCTA’s Southern California Regional Trail Maintainer of the Year Award in 2006 and the Alice Krueper Award in 2009. The PCTA’s Trail Gorillas continue maintaining the trail in his section to honor his legacy.

Kim Owen

Dana Hendricks (left), PCTA’s Columbia Cascades Regional Representative, presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Kim Owen in February during an annual gathering with PCTA’s Mount Hood Chapter.

Kim Owen has worn many hats as a volunteer with the PCTA’s Mount Hood Chapter: caretaker,  budget coordinator, and PCTA Volunteer Saw Instructor, just to name a few. Kim’s generous spirit and many years of loyalty to the trail and the PCTA have made him an inspiring and invaluable member of the PCT community. The trail and those who love it will benefit from his support and leadership for years to come.

Extra Mile Award

The title of this award speaks for itself—it is meant to honor those who have gone “the extra mile,” beyond the scope of normal volunteering, for the benefit of the organization or the trail.

Patty Andersen

PCTA’s Anitra Kass (left) presented Patty Andersen with the Extra Mile Award in early March during a meeting with the PCTA’s Southern California Trail Gorillas.

Patty Andersen’s dedication to public land stewardship goes above and beyond. Some say that if you look up the definition of “volunteer” you will find a photo of Patty. She volunteers with the U.S. Forest Service, Friends of the Desert, and the PCTA’s Trail Gorillas; plus she’s adopted the Devils Slide Trail, one of the most heavily traveled access trails to the PCT in Southern California. Patty truly goes “the extra mile” in everything she does for the PCT and our public lands.

Diamond Hitch Award

This award recognizes the services provided by a volunteer packer whose passion and ongoing commitment assists with maintenance of the PCT in wilderness areas and remote locations.

Michael Lewis

In December, Michael Lewis was presented the Diamond Hitch Award during an online meeting with the PCTA’s Trail Gorillas for his excellent pack support on the PCT.

Michael Lewis was recognized for his unwavering and enthusiastic support of conservation corps crews on the PCT and the PCTA’s Trail Gorillas. The trail would still be closed in many places without his willingness and ability to tackle remote, difficult terrain and complicated logistics. Michael’s expertise and passion for the trail benefits everyone around him and makes him an invaluable member of the PCT community.

Labor of Love Award

The Labor of Love Award recognizes individuals for their work on particular projects that benefit the organization.

Dave Moore

Dave Moore was presented the Labor of Love award in December for his continued dedication to the trail, even after retirement.

Dave Moore retired from trail work after the 2019 season but didn’t stop volunteering. After being a group leader for the PCTA’s Will Work for Krumms for more than a decade, he began volunteering in the PCTA’s Sacramento office, helping send PCT completion certificates, volunteer cards and more. Dave’s dedication to the PCT continues, even after he put away his hardhat and stepped off the trail.

Partner Agency Employee Award

This award is given to an agency employee who has been very helpful to the PCTA. Often, more than one Agency Partner Employee Award is given each year.

Brian Long

PCTA’s Big Bend Regional Representative Ian Nelson presented the Partner Agency Employee Award to Brian Long in September for his commitment to shared stewardship. Photo of Oregon/California border sign on the PCT in 2017 by Justin Helmkamp.

Brian Long is an outstanding agency partner with the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. He is committed to partnerships with a variety of volunteer organizations in Southwest Oregon, including the PCTA’s community-based volunteer groups. He was instrumental in supporting the installation of a new trail register and signs on the PCT at the Oregon/California border, on top of his many other great contributions to the PCT. For more than a decade, Brian’s commitment to shared stewardship has benefited the trail and the PCTA.

Lindsey Steinwachs

Lindsey Steinwachs (right) was presented with the Partner Agency Employee Award in early March by Anitra Kass during a meeting with the Cleveland National Forest and PCTA staff.

Lindsey Steinwachs is a “stalwart supporter” of pioneering efforts in the Cleveland National Forest, including the Crest Runner and Southern Terminus Trailhead Host programs, campsite assessments and Optimal Location Reviews. Her passion for public lands can be seen through these efforts, and Lindsey’s willingness to support programs, even outside of her district, speaks volumes to her important partnership with the PCTA. Her work has been essential to ensuring the PCT, including the trail tread and the life-changing experience it provides, are protected for years to come.

Andrea Durham

Andrea Durham was presented with the Partner Agency Employee Award in July for her continued commitment to volunteers and the trail. Photo of Mount Adams from the PCT by Jon Hullinger.

Andrea Durham exemplifies the commitment to shared stewardship of the Pacific Crest Trail and always goes the extra mile in her work on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. She works to say “yes” to projects even when they require years to reach the finish line, as in the case of the Nannie Ridge trail relocation in Washington. She provides support for the PCTA’s White Pass Chapter and Trail Skills College courses. Andrea’s dedication to the trail and the volunteer community benefits everyone around her. We are immensely grateful for her excellent public service, leadership and for the many small ways she supports and encourages volunteer partnerships.

Partnership Award

This award is given to a partner who has provided exceptional assistance to the PCTA and contributed to our mission.

American Conservation Experience (ACE)

ACE was presented with the Partnership Award in February. Photo with PCTA’s Executive Director and CEO Liz Bergeron and ACE President and CEO, Laura Herrin.

The American Conservation Experience received the Partnership Award for their commitment to the PCT. Since 2014, ACE has made significant strides in crew training, basecamp protocols and incorporating PCTA volunteers in trail maintenance and reconstruction projects. Volunteers who joined them in the Sierra Buttes near Lake Tahoe repeatedly said what a good time they had; some even traveled hundreds of miles out of their typical volunteer area to re-join the crews. Additionally, the Mountain Fire burn area in Southern California wouldn’t be open without ACE’s partnership and dedication. ACE instills a conservation ethic in their corps members and inspires the next generation.

Regional Trail Maintainer of the Year Award

This award is given to an individual in each region who has distinguished themself in hours and service to trail maintenance during the past year.

Southern California

Jim Dascoulias

Jim Dascoulias was presented the Regional Trail Maintainer of the Year Award in April during a virtual awards presentation with PCTA staff and fellow volunteers.

Jim Dascoulias’s quiet passion for the trail and his positive influence have been felt on the PCT throughout Anza-Borrego Desert State Park where he works full time, but boundaries don’t exist to Jim. His energy extends to the trail outside of the park where he volunteers with the PCTA’s Trail Gorillas. He’s volunteered more than 350 hours of trail work through logout projects and leadership trainings in PCTA’s Southern California region.

Tim Morris

Tim Morris (right) was presented Regional Trail Maintainer of the Year Award in April during a virtual awards presentation with PCTA staff and fellow volunteers. He’s seen here with fellow vounteer Jim Banks (left). Photo from February by Karl Krummel.

Tim Morris received the Southern California Regional Trail Maintainer of the Year Award in recognition of his untiring dedication as a PCT volunteer. The PCTA’s Trail Gorillas: Cajon Pass Chapter has greatly benefited from his exceptional commitment as a skilled and passionate trail worker and leader. Trail lovers will benefit for years to come thanks to his outstanding efforts.

Southern Sierra

Jan Sieben

Jan Sieben (not pictured) was presented the Regional Trail Maintainer of the Year Award in October for his incredible work in the Southern Sierra Region. Photo taken north of Red’s Meadow in 2017 by Brendan O’Connor.

Jan Sieben is a relatively new PCTA volunteer but has already dedicated a huge amount of his time to the PCT. He contributed 530 volunteer hours in 2019, with about half of those spent clearing thick brush and digging in the dirt to improve trail tread in the PCTA’s Southern Sierra region. Fellow volunteers describe him as motivated, tireless and a skilled crew member. Jan’s leadership and initiative benefit the trail and all those who travel it.

Northern Sierra

Bob Plumb

Bob Plumb was presented the Regional Trail Maintainer of the Year Award in December during an online meeting with PCTA’s Northern Sierra volunteer leaders for his outstanding commitment to the trail.

Bob Plumb’s dedication to the trail can be seen through the words of his fellow trail maintainers, like “when I think of a perfect trail, I think of Bob’s section.” He is always planning ahead, collaborating with staff, partners and volunteer leaders, and thinking about what maintenance features best suit the trail. His commitment is shown through the extra thoughts he puts into every mile.

Big Bend

Josh Taylor

PCTA’s Ian Nelson presented the Regional Trail Maintainer of the Year Award to Josh Taylor (shown above) in November for his incredible dedication to the PCT. Photo by Mick Mc Bride.

Josh Taylor received the Regional Trail Maintainer Award in recognition of his growing dedication to the maintenance of the PCT in Northern California/Southern Oregon. His commitment is seen through everything he does as a volunteer. Last year, he trained to become a crew leader, instructed at PCTA’s Trail Skills College, and attended nearly every volunteer work date with the PCTA’s Southern Oregon Rockers. To top it off, Josh adopted three miles of the PCT as a steward.

Columbia Cascades

Susan McDonnell

Susan McDonnell was awarded the Regional Trail Maintainer of the Year Award in September for her work on the PCT and Eagle Creek Trail. Photo from a trail crew outing on the PCT in 2019.

Susan McDonnell is a crew leader for the PCTA’s Mount Hood Chapter, and a caretaker for Eagle Creek Trail, a jewel in the Pacific Crest Trail network. Her work in Eagle Creek has been instrumental in reopening the trail after the fire in 2017. Her dedication shines in her excellent safety record and ability to build strong partner relationships. Those who know her best say she has an infectious, optimistic attitude when it comes to trail work.

North Cascades

Ty Norrish

Ty Norrish (right) was presented the Regional Trail Maintainer of the Year Award in July for his commitment to the trail and to his crews. Photo from 2019 with Ty and two volunteer crew members.

Ty Norrish is a motivated and highly self-sufficient volunteer. Each year, he plans and scouts his projects with the PCTA and the Skykomish Ranger District and does exemplary work. His thoughtful planning and quality work make the trail a safe and enjoyable place for countless PCT hikers and horseback riders.

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We’re now accepting nominations for volunteers and partners who made outstanding contributions in 2020. If you would like to nominate an individual for an award, please fill out the online Annual Awards Nomination Form by Jan. 8, 2021.

Author: Mila Benson

Mila Benson is the PCTA's Volunteer Programs Outreach Associate. She's enthusiastic about stories that engage and inspire others to volunteer and view the trail through a new lens. Originally from North Idaho, Mila is passionate about all things outdoors and spends her free time exploring California.