An Eatonville man was one of two people to receive the first Volunteer Hero awards presented by the state Department of Natural Resources.
A long-time DNR volunteer, Tom Faubion has been instrumental in the development and maintenance of a horse trail system at Elbe Hills State Forest. “He is a tireless worker, who is often one of the first to help clear trails after storms. ... Faubion has helped with the development of a user map and has been known to lend his emergency medical training skills to riders in need,” said a department news release. “His presence and efforts have positively affected the land, the resources and the people, making him one of this year’s Volunteer Heroes.”
Bob Langley of Everett was the other honoree. He volunteers hundreds of hours every year at various DNR locations, including working on motorized and nonmotorized projects at Capitol State Forest and Tahuya State Forest. His efforts include helping to reroute trails to protect streams, reopening trails after storms and participating in the annual gravel haul-in to maintain trails.
“These Volunteer Heroes inspire the best in all of us. Not only do their actions directly influence the success of the program, but their dedication and sense of service inspire those who have the opportunity to work with them,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark in a prepared statement.
FORT WORDEN MANAGEMENT
The State Parks and Recreation Commission earlier this month directed staff to move forward with negotiating an agreement to co-manage Fort Worden State Park with the Port Townsend Lifelong Learning Center Public Development Authority.
The commission will require as part of the co-management agreement that within four years, the authority show a net revenue increase and/or cost avoidance assumed by the authority.
The commission asked the authority to do everything possible to minimize the loss of jobs to current state employees at Fort Worden State Park.
“This is a positive step toward preserving the unique facilities and experience at Fort Worden State Park,” said commission chairman Joe Taller said in a prepared statement. “The state does not have the long-term capacity to care for it, and the PDA is stepping up with a commitment to raise money for improvements and to work with us to manage Fort Worden for long-term success.”
The park, just outside Port Townsend, is considered one of the icons of the state park system. With 433 acres and 11,000 feet of saltwater frontage, the park is known for its large collection of historic buildings from its origins as a early 20th century coastal defense fort.