Unsung Heroes of Trails
Getting roads and trails repaired in our national forests is a complex job. Paid Forest Service staff, volunteers, and an array of support personnel work hard each year to ensure hikers can get to the alpine country they treasure.
Two unsung heroes who've helped to get us to trails in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest were recently given national recognition for their skill and efforts.
Peter Wagner, an engineer for the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie, was recent awarded the Engineering Technician of the Year award from the U.S. Forest Service. His 30-year career with the Forest Service has seen him involved in over 60 bridge projects. He was very involved in the reconstruction of the Mountain Loop Highway and names among his favorite projects the curved Boulder Creek Bridge on the south slope of Mount Baker, the steel-truss South Fork Snoqualmie Bridge near the Denny Creek Campground, and the 240-foot Baker River Trail Bridge--which was special to him because it is a very rare cable-stayed bridge.
Another unsung pair of heroes are Tony and Sue Reece of Hi-Line Helicopters. Tony was recently given the Trimble Award from the Helicopter Association of America, and both Tony and his wife Sue (who drives the fuel truck for their operations) have also received the Harvey Bell Award from the Professional Trailbuilders Association. The Reeces have provided helicopter assistance on many projects on the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie, plus across the state, from Mount Rainier to Washington DNR lands. They've done everything from flying in bridge stringers to assisting with search and rescue, to working on forest fires.
Thanks to Tony, Sue and Peter for helping keep hiking trails accessible.