US Forest Service employee Joy Barney receives national honor

South Lake Tahoe, Calif. December 2, 2015 – U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) Conservation Education Program Specialist, Joy Barney recently received the Gifford Pinchot Pacific Southwest Region Interpreter and Conservation Educator of the Year Award. Named in honor of the first Chief of the Forest Service, the annual award is a national honor given to Forest Service employees for achievement in environmental interpretation and conservation education.


“Joy’s effort, energy, enthusiasm and creativity inspired a passion for conservation of our public lands with kindergarten through 12th-grade students,” said Forest Supervisor, Jeff Marsolais. “We are proud to have on staff such an exceptional person, who has touched so many lives.”

As the LTBMU Conservation Education Coordinator, Barney created the South Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition (STEEC). Under her leadership, STEEC members including local, state and federal agencies, and non-profit organizations work together to provide high-quality educational programs that annually reach 2,500 kindergarten through sixth-grade students. Barney started Generation Green of Lake Tahoe, which provides diverse high school students in the Lake Tahoe area volunteer and employment opportunities for natural resource and restoration work with the Forest Service. Generation Green has employed over 161 students from two states and five counties, with 90 percent of the students continuing on to higher education and 24 percent seeking careers in natural resource management. Barney expanded this successful program to the Eldorado National Forest in 2015.

Barney graduated from University of California-Davis with a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology and previously worked for the Stanislaus National Forest in forest management and interpretative services.

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