2012 Alpine Steward Award Winner: Rebecca Oreskes
Each spring, the Waterman Fund hosts an annual dinner to bring together Fund board members and supporters. Most importantly, the annual dinner is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the recipient of the Guy Waterman Alpine Stewardship Award. This award honors an individual or organization who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to protecting the physical and spiritual qualities of the Northeast’s mountain wilderness. The award is named after the late Guy Waterman who, with his wife Laura, practiced stewardship in their daily lives and embodied a spirit of wildness.
Each year, we ask friends of the Fund to submit nominations for this annual award. Many of us know, or know of, Rebecca Oreskes—her passion for the northeast landscape, her professional role in formally affording special management to alpine areas in the White Mountain National Forest, and her myriad contributions to wilderness preservation. Those who know her well are keenly aware of her inspirational traits and her ability to foster a sense of stewardship. In his nominating letter, Justin Preisendorfer wrote of Rebecca, “There is something remarkable about her that impacts people’s lives and inspires them to care—to care about people and to care about the land…Her sense of place and connection to our mountains is palpable. She exemplifies all the traits of the stewards we aspire to be.”
Doug Mayer, who also submitted a nominating letter, asked the Fund to consider five qualities which make Rebecca meritorious of the award. One such quality, he wrote, is that “her stewardship has been all encompassing. Not content to leave her passion for alpine stewardship at work, she has made time for it during her otherwise busy private life.”
On Saturday, April 14th, over thirty people gathered at the Wildcat Inn in Jackson, New Hampshire to enjoy a fine dinner and honor Rebecca. Following dinner, Laura Waterman presented Rebecca with the award, citing her many accomplishments while work- ing for the US Forest Service. Rebecca, who recently retired from her career at the Forest Service, helped the agency revise its Forest Plan and afford special management to alpine areas. In addition, Rebecca was a founding member of the Waterman Fund, endowing the nascent organization with a clear vision. The Steward Award recognizes her thoughtful approach to stewardship and her commitment to protecting the many values of wild places.