2009 Alpine Steward Award Winner: Pete Fish
Pete Fish, a New York State Forest Ranger for 23 years, will be this years award recipient. As a ranger in both the Catskills and the Adirondacks, and as an active member of the Adirondack 46ers and Catskill 3500 Club, Fish has interacted with thousands of hikers on summits and in valleys. Through these organizations, as well as on his own initiative and time, Fish has educated the public about Leave No Trace, backcountry safety, mountain stewardship, and alpine hiking etiquette. He has assisted in training summit stewards since the early days of the High Peaks Summit Steward Program (a partnership of The Nature Conservancy, Adirondack Mountain Club, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation). Fish has also worked on Ed Ketchledges (who received the alpine steward award in 2004) summit restoration efforts in the High Peaks Region.
After retiring as a ranger in 1998, Fish has been sought after as a speaker by a variety of outdoor groups. He continues to actively engage and educate hikers, especially on his beloved Mt. Marcy, a mountain he has climbed, as of the end of 2008, 707 times. Fish is an active trail steward, clearing and maintaining trails in Keene, Keene Valley, and elsewhere. Few individuals have shared as much or reached as many in service of these mountains, and especially these alpine areas.
Brendan Wiltse, former Chief Steward of the High Peaks Summit Steward Program, nominated him for the award. In his nominating letter, Wiltse wrote, There is no doubt in my mind that Pete Fishs stewardship activities have had a substantial positive impact on the Adirondack mountains. When someone meets Pete Fish on the trail they remember what he has to say, and keep it with them for the rest of their lives.