On Friday, April 22, regional forester Dan Jirón and deputy regional foresters Maribeth Gustafson and Jacque Buchanan honored over 90 partners and employees for their contributions and successes during the annual regional forester's honor awards ceremony. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell joined the celebration by videoconference.
"I am so proud of the region for our accomplishments and for the difference we are making on public lands for present and future generations," said Jirón.
The regional foresters honored partners and employees for their achievements in seven categories: Sustaining our Nation's Forests and Grasslands; Meeting America's Needs (Public Service); Innovation; Cultural Transformation and Inclusion; Creating a Safety Culture; Emerging Leader; and Ranger District of the Year.
The award for Cultural Transformation and Inclusion went to Grand Mesa - Uncompahgre - Gunnison National Forest staffers Scott Armentrout, forest supervisor; Clay Fowler, forest fire management officer; Patrick Medina, east zone fire management officer; James Ramirez, east zone assistant fire management officer; Albert Borkowski, realty specialist; Tammy Randall-Parker, Ouray district ranger; John Murphy, Gunnison district ranger; Theo Engel, supervisory fuels technician; Michele Schaal, administrative officer; Levi Broyles, Paonia district ranger; Nikolai Lewing, fuels technician; and Charles Boyles, fuels technician.
Each recipient received a certificate and a ranger plaid roll-up blanket with a leather carrier, handle and shoulder strap from the historic Pendleton Woolen Mills. Two award categories received Aldo Leopold benches made by students at the Pine Ridge Job Corps Center in Nebraska.
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.