Two Shasta-Trinity National Forest employees have received the 2018 National Safety Award recognizing outstanding contributions toward the advancement of Forest Service safety and occupational health program goals and objectives. Patrol Captain Carson Harris and Forest Safety Manager Ben Sundal were selected for the award by the Forest Service Deputy Chief of Business Operations Robert Velasco.
Harris and Sundal worked closely together and with local and interagency partners to achieve the eradication, removal and cleanup of three large illegal marijuana cultivation site complexes on National Forest System lands. The cleanup removed 1,000 pounds of fertilizer, 10 gallons of hazardous materials including pesticides, 3.1 miles of irrigation hose, and close to 8,000 pounds of trash. As a result of these efforts, 90% of the more than 24 acres was restored.
In addition, the Law Enforcement staff led by Harris participated in Operation Forest Watch, resulting in the seizure of: 2,447 illegal marijuana plants, 4,819 pounds of processed marijuana, 28.6 grams of methamphetamine, 4 grams of heroin, 191.4 grams of cocaine, 15.8 pounds of butane honey oil, 4 guns, 15 arrests and 74 citations.
Last year when the Forest was hit hard by destructive wildfires, the Law Enforcement staff assisted local law enforcement agencies with the evacuations of thousands of residents of
Shasta County. “Without missing a beat, Patrol Captain Harris led the Law Enforcement staff on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest to skillfully and safely complete multiple simultaneous high-risk operations while protecting National Forest System lands, and ensuring public and employee safety during an incredibly active and challenging time,” said Deputy Chief of Business Operations Robert Velasco in a statement.
“We are immensely proud of Carson and Ben and sincerely appreciate their outstanding work and many contributions to safety,” said Deputy Forest Supervisor Terri Simon-Jackson.