Stewardship earns national recognition; Youth program thrives

High school students from all over Plumas County participate in the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s Storrie Student Trail program. Photo courtesy Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship
Carolyn Shipp
Staff Writer


The effort of the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship has been recognized nationally and the trail development group’s youth program is now officially an award-winning program.

The California Trails and Greenways Conference Foundation honored the Storrie Student Trail Program with a Merit Award for Kids and Trails at the foundation’s conference in Palm Springs on April 9. Stewardship Executive Director Greg Williams received the award on behalf of the stewardship.

“It’s just a huge confirmation to us that we are doing something right,” said Stewardship Trail Programs Director Tara Stone.

According to the foundation’s criteria, the award honors an agency or individual “that established an innovative program … specifically designed to engage children and youth in outdoor experiences using trails.”

The Storrie Student Trail Program exemplifies the criteria. The program offers high school students an opportunity to restore the trails that were affected by 2000 Storrie Fire.

According to Stone, the students spend six weeks in the wilderness repairing the trails. They receive medical certifications, outdoor survival and trail construction experience, and tool and machinery certifications. Often, they are hired by the stewardship after they have finished their tenure with the project.

“It’s just a huge confirmation to us that we are doing something right.” Tara Stone, Trail Programs Director, Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship

According to Stone, with the effective leadership of the three crew leaders, Cody Clayton, Morgan Koons and Mandy Beatty, and the collaboration with the Plumas National Forest, the program is flourishing, and more students are vying for the chance to participate.

“This program is something that has evolved out of our growing sense of community,” Stone wrote in a blog on the stewardship’s website. “It ties our desire to see better, more carefully built and planned trails in with our goal of hiring and training a local workforce.”

For more information on the program or how to apply, visit

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