Forest Service recognize volunteer and horse with award

A Jackson County man is being recognized by the U.S. Forest Service for his volunteer work in the Hoosier National Forest.

According to the agency, Butch Stidam, and his horse “Blue”, have received the Forest Service’s Eastern Region Volunteer and Service Award for Enduring Service recognizing more than 1,000 hours of volunteer service over five years in the forest.

Stacy Duke, recreation and wilderness program Manager for the Hoosier National Forest, said Stidam was initially a trail rider, reporting on trail concerns or downed trees. That grew into a role as a Forest Service volunteer helping on trail projects, including having Blue serve as a lead horse for mules on various projects.

The pair were also essential in a rerouting of the East Bass Pond Trail in the Charles C. Deam Wilderness.

Duke said that Stidam is indispensable to the forest’s recreation program and wilderness area.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.