2012 Wilderness Stewardship Award

Only through the ongoing work of the National Park Service, its partners, and the broad American public will we make sure the special qualities and connections of wilderness landscapes endure for our grandchildren, their children, and beyond.

Joel L. Hard,
NPS Deputy Regional Director, Alaska

The Wes Henry National Wilderness Stewardship Award recognizes outstanding contributions to wilderness stewardship by an individual or group. The National Park Service is honored to recognize the 2012 recipients:


Individual Award
Suzy Stutzman
Intermountain Region wilderness coordinator

Stutzman inspired National Park Service staff throughout the country to realize that wilderness stewardship is a part of everyone's job.

For nearly a decade, Stutzman championed the inclusion of wilderness stewardship into superintendents' performance plans throughout the region and helped integrate wilderness stewardship into park operations. She promoted wilderness awareness and assisted parks with the implementation of strategic tools like the minimum requirements analysis. She chaired the region's Wilderness Executive Committee and, as a key member of the national Wilderness Character Integration Team, she co-authored the newly revised NPS Wilderness Stewardship Plan Handbook.

Recognizing the importance of communicating wilderness benefits to the public, Stutzman helped develop the Ambassadors for Wilderness program at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Her work to develop the Wilderness Junior Ranger program and booklet, which was adopted and implemented by several parks and more recently by interagency partners, has helped cultivate a new generation of wilderness stewards.



Group Award
Wilderness Character Integration Team

This national interdisciplinary team provided leadership for incorporating wilderness character in park planning, management, and monitoring processes. Led by Peter Landres, of the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, and Suzy Stutzman, Intermountain regional wilderness coordinator, the team devoted extensive energy and time toward inspiring a new direction for national park wilderness preservation. Their work has led to a greater understanding of, and a deeper commitment to, preserving wilderness character throughout the national park system.

The Wilderness Character Integration Team developed two key products: the document Keeping it Wild in the National Park Service: A user guide to integrating wilderness character into park planning, management, and monitoring, and the newly revised NPS Wilderness Stewardship Plan Handbook.

Wilderness parks pilot tested these products and provided critical input that informed further refinement for the final versions. The accomplishments embodied within these documents and other work of the WCIT provide invaluable resources and direction for years ahead in ensuring the preservation of wilderness character.

The Wilderness Character Integration Team:

  • Mike Bilecki, chief of resource management, Fire Island National Seashore
  • Carol Cook, program analyst, park planning and special studies, Washington office
  • Sarah Craighead, superintendent, Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Jeremy Curtis, chief of maintenance, Chiricahua National Monument/ Ft. Bowie National Historic Site
  • Tim Devine, wilderness stewardship division, Washington office, Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center
  • Sandee Dingman, biologist, Lake Mead National Recreation Area
  • Michael Haynie, ranger, Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  • Chris Holbeck, natural resource program manager, Midwest regional office
  • Chip Jenkins, deputy regional director, resource stewardship and planning, Pacific West regional office
  • Peter Landres, ecologist, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service
  • Adrienne Lindholm, regional wilderness coordinator, Alaska regional office
  • Melissa Memory, chief of cultural resources, Everglades and Dry Tortugas national parks
  • Christina Mills, wilderness fellow, wilderness stewardship division, Washington office
  • Ray O'Neil, ranger, Zion National Park
  • Ruth Scott, wilderness specialist, Olympic National Park
  • Miki Stuebe, environmental protection specialist, environmental quality division, natural resource stewardship and science
  • Suzy Stutzman, regional wilderness coordinator, Intermountain regional office
  • Karen Trevino, director, natural sounds and night skies program, natural resource stewardship and science
  • Frank Turina, planner, natural resource stewardship and science
  • Wade Vagias, management assistant, Yellowstone National Park

Read about previous award recipients:

Wes Henry dedicated his life to the preservation of wild lands. The former National Park Service Wilderness Program Manager was committed to finding innovative ways to educate others about the value of these special places. The Wilderness Education and Interpretation Resource Notebook is a direct result of Henry's unwavering devotion to help connect people to their wilderness heritage.

Last updated: October 24, 2015