USDA National Rural Community Assistance National Action Award (2003)

Idyllwild’s Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council received a national award Saturday, October 11, 2003 in recognition of its contributions to the community over the past year. USDA Forest Service District Ranger Laurie Rosenthal presented the Council with a 2002-2003 U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Rural Community Assistance National Action Award at its monthly General Meeting at the Idyllwild Fire Station.

Commemorated by an attractive glass carving mounted on a wooden block, the award also comes with a certificate which has both Rosenthal’s name and that of Kevin Turner, Division Chief of the California Department of Forestry, on it as nominators. It says: “In the spirit of working together for rural America, the Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council is recognized for outstanding accomplishments which have demonstrated an effective partnership with the USDA Forest Service to help make the Idyllwild area more fire safe.”

In presenting the award, she said: “I am representing the entire community and not only the Forest Service in making this award.”  Noting that the award was presented in the “action” category, she said she has worked with many community groups during her career but none of them can top the Council and its volunteers for the kind of contributions they have made to their community.

She said the volunteers have donated thousands of hours in working with the Forest Service in helping to create the Pine Cove Fuel Break, abating the properties of seniors and needy families, donating 45 cords of wood to the Idyllwild HELP Center, running the Council’s Site Evaluation Program and providing an extensive educational outreach program to the community on fire safe matters.

Council President Blair Ceniceros thanked her for the award and pointed out the Council, “is in awe of the outstanding work the Forest Service, the California Department of Forestry and the Idyllwild Fire Department do in dealing with fires and keeping our community safe. We want you to know how much we appreciate your excellent efforts.”