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Wrong Anne Okonek?

Anne Okonek -Fs

West Zone Recreation Program Manager

Hiawatha National Forest

Hiawatha National Forest

Background Information

Employment History

Assistant District Ranger and Project Leader

Hiawatha's Kids

Recreation Program Manager

Rapid River/Manistique Ranger District of the Hiawatha National Forest

Assistant District Ranger

U.S. Forest Service

Forest Products Laboratory


Masters Degree

Lake States

Web References (11 Total References)

Anne Okonek and ...

www.nohvcc.org [cached]

Anne Okonek and others Anne Okonek's first ride on an ATV was at a workshop put on by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC). That was over 20 years ago, and it had a big influence on her career and personal recreation.

Okonek is the West Zone Recreation Program Manager with the Hiawatha National Forest, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. She manages the recreation program for three Ranger Districts, including motorized and non-motorized trails, campgrounds, Wild and Scenic Rivers and a National Recreation Area. This year, she celebrated 35 years with the Forest Service.
"I was an outdoor gal. That's why I went into Natural Resources. But most of my experiences had to do with hiking and camping," said Okonek.
Okonek joined the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) right out of college. She worked as a Forester in Alaska's Tongass National Forest for 4 years, then returned to the Lake States, where she got her Masters Degree and a job as a Forester with the Hiawatha.
Okonek put that philosophy to work when the U.P. Sandstormers, an established dirt bike club, approached her with the idea of building a single-track trail in the Forest. "We didn't have any single-track on the Hiawatha. It was new to us. Of course, we had to do all kinds of research on it as an allowable use," she said.
Okonek was the team leader on the Environmental Analysis (EA). To help her and her interdisciplinary team learn more about single-track trails, she took them for a ride on a state trail, teaming up with Jeff Magowan of the U.P. Sandstormers, and Lewis Shuler, Executive Director of the Cycle Conservation Club of Michigan. "There were misconceptions by the team about the impacts that a single-track trail would have," she said.
"I think it was a tremendous success," said Okonek. "I would encourage other resource professionals who are undergoing analyses like this to not just connect themselves with the sport and the facilities, but the entire interdisciplinary team."
Today, Okonek owns an ATV and rides it and her snowmobile recreationally.

YMCA of Marquette County - Kids In The Woods

www.ymcamqt.org [cached]

"We are thrilled to be able to make this opportunity available to youngsters from Marquette and Alger counties" said Anne Okonek, Assistant District Ranger and Project Leader for the Hiawatha's Kids in the Woods program.

"We are excited to be able ...

www.dailypress.net [cached]

"We are excited to be able to offer these high quality programs this summer" said Anne Okonek, Recreation Program Manager for the Rapid River/Manistique Ranger District of the Hiawatha National Forest.

"Many people bring a picnic dinner or go swimming as part of the evening" said Okonek.

It has become a generational thing," ...

www.dailypress.net [cached]

It has become a generational thing," said Anne Okonek, assistant ranger at the Rapid River/Manistique Ranger District.

For more information about the Kids' Fishing Day contact Anne Okonek at 474-6442. Information about Pocket Park activities can be found by calling 789-0714.

According to Anne Okonek, ...

www.dailypress.net [cached]

According to Anne Okonek, assistant district ranger, the program has evolved over the years, all while keeping the original goal in mind.

"The purpose of Kids in the Woods is to get kids unplugged - from the Xboxes, computers, from texting and their cell phones - and to get them out in the woods and reconnected with nature," she explained.
"We do all types of activities, we teach them about the woods: building and putting out fires, visiting with Smokey Bear, learning the 'leave no trace' principals, compass use, scavenger hunts to learn about bugs and frogs, snakes and trees - all kinds of learning aspects," explained Okonek. "We also try to get them physically active as well . We have kids kayaking, mountain biking, hiking - physical activities to engage them."
In addition to the activities, Okonek said the long-term goal of the program is to educate the children about the importance of conservation.
"We want the kids to understand the woods, appreciate the woods, and respect them," she said.

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