ARC Salutes Legends Award Winners

ARC Salutes Legends Award Winners

Washington, D.C. - The American Recreation Coalition (ARC) presented its 2004 Legends Awards to seven outstanding federal managers at a special ceremony held during Great Outdoors Week (June 7-11, 2004). “These are truly extraordinary individuals,” said ARC President Derrick Crandall, “and we are honored to be able to introduce them to the recreation community at large today.” ARC presents its Legends Awards annually in recognition of the recipients’ successful efforts to enhance outdoor recreation facilities, resources and experiences. Honorees are nominated by seven federal agencies: USDA Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Federal Highway Administration.

Recipients of the 2004 Legends Awards are:

  • Claude Coffin, Assistant District Ranger on the Gallatin National Forest’s Hebgen Lake Ranger District in Montana;
  • Stan Bales, Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Bureau of Land Management’s Eagle Lake Field Office in California;
  • Bruce Brown, Partnerships Coordinator for the Bureau of Reclamation;
  • Alison Bullock, Outdoor Recreation Planner with the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, based in Tennessee;
  • Angela Tracy, Supervisory Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia;
  • Erwin Topper, Operations Manager for Lake Sidney Lanier and Buford Dam in Georgia; and
  • Donald Patrick, Program Manager for Refuge Roads and for Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads for the Federal Highway Administration.

A 39-year veteran of the USDA Forest Service, Claude Coffin’s extensive accomplishments include: upgraded, accessible campgrounds; effective OHV management through education and enforcement; development of a renowned cross-country ski trail system and a disabled-hunter program; effective communication with outfitters and summer residents; an active multiple-use trail system; and creative, pro-active solutions to funding problems. As an example of the latter, Mr. Coffin partnered with a Montana utility to help complete a comprehensive recreation management plan – including a revolving fund for infrastructure maintenance – as mitigation for their hydro-facilities licensing.

One of Stan Bales’ most significant legacies is the nationally recognized Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail, which owes its existence to his tireless efforts to build a community coalition to support the rail-trail conversion that made the trail possible. His partnership-building skills, honed over his two decades of public service, also led to the creation of an off-highway vehicle area, initially opposed by the community, that has successfully reduced environmental impacts, provided rewarding recreational experiences for motorized recreationists, protected adjacent private property, and benefited local businesses.

Bruce Brown has been involved in every recreation initiative the Bureau of Reclamation has undertaken during his 19-year tenure. He was instrumental in the development of the Reclamation Recreation Management Act of 1992, as well as the agency’s law enforcement and volunteer legislation. He served as Deputy Director of the National Recreation Lakes Study Commission from 1997 until 2000 and then coordinated the subsequent Federal Lakes Recreation Leadership Council, overseeing a successful interagency demonstration program on 32 lakes to promote innovative management. Mr. Brown also served on the core planning committee for the 2003 Partners in Stewardship Conference.

Over the last four years, Alison Bullock has played a key role in crafting and then implementing a vision for the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program’s Southern Appalachians Initiative to work with a national partner – the American Hiking Society – to bring together and organize local, long-distance hiking-trail groups across the Southeast to develop a 5,000-mile interconnected network of hiking trails throughout the region. She has also worked closely with the Cumberland Trail Conference and the Pine Mountain Trail Association, helping them gain designation, respectively, as the first linear state parks in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Under the guidance of Angela Tracy, the overall visitor services program of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge has evolved to include a much more diverse interpretive and educational schedule, leading to a substantial increase in refuge visitation. In addition, she played a key role in the planning, design and construction of the refuge’s Herbert H. Bateman Administrative and Educational Center. As the Center – an icon for sustainable design – was built, Ms. Tracy provided valuable input on the design of the building, as well as extensive guidance for the planning of interactive, informative, visually pleasing and highly technical exhibits.

In more than 30 years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Erwin Topper has contributed significantly to the promotion of quality outdoor recreation opportunities and the enhancement of natural resources on public lands managed by the Corps. Under his leadership over the last 21 years, Lake Lanier has grown from a popular rural lake to become the “Crown Jewel” of the Corps’ water projects. Mr. Topper’s willingness to develop and share innovative ideas – on subjects as varied as contracts, volunteer incentives, fees, beach reconstruction and water-safety education – has had a profound effect on the recreation-management community as has his formation of productive partnerships with county, city and state governments, quasi-public groups, and private enterprise.

Donald Patrick works closely with the Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that the highest possible level of service is provided by the Federal Lands Highway Office to the National Wildlife Refuge System to promote transportation improvements, consistent with the agencies’ shared environmental stewardship responsibilities, while facilitating coordination with local communities and state and local transportation officials. In addition, Mr. Patrick partners with eight federal land-management agencies to facilitate the repair of roads and bridges on federal and Indian lands. In this way, he helps restore essential service and return transportation service on a permanent basis for recreational and other users.

(June 9, 2004)