15 Dec ANNOUNCING TREAD LIGHTLY!’S 2022 AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR!
Last year Tread Lightly! kicked off our Ambassador of the Year award with the help of Corbeau Seats to honor an individual who went above and beyond to protect off-road trail access and who embodies the Tread Lightly! ethic when they’re out on the trails and wanted to continue the tradition and honor a new Ambassador in 2022.
We are excited to announce Ron Harrington II of North Pownal, Vermont as our 2022 Ambassador of the Year! Ron is an off-road and overlanding educator, guide and CEO of Ridgeback Guide Service. He’s both a Tread Trainer and Quadratec Trail Boss and incorporates responsible outdoor ethics into every ride and guide experience.
Ron has supported many stewardship projects in the Northeast, working to install educational signage, cleanup trash and complete much-needed trail maintenance.
“It is a privilege to help Tread Lightly! spread the principles of motorized recreation ethics. The “Do Your Part” principle is something we all have within our power; whether it is joining Tread Lightly! as a member, teaching others about how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, or showing up to help out at stewardship events. Taking an active role is how we can keep our motorized recreation opportunities to pass on to future generations. Thank you for the honor of being chosen as Ambassador of the Year.” -Ron Harrington II
Ron will receive a custom office chair courtesy of Corbeau Seats, a $500 grant from Tread Lightly! for a project of his choice and a custom plaque honoring Ron as our 2022 recipient! Thank you, Ron, for your hard work and dedication to Protecting the Adventure!
We’d also like to honor our runner-up, Cat Fanaro, who is the President and founder of the Colorado 4×4 Girls. Cat is a longtime supporter of Tread Lightly! who is a great steward of off-roading throughout the state of Colorado and beyond. Earlier this year, Cat and the Colorado 4×4 Girls removed 2,000 pounds of trash from the Clear Creek Ranger District for our Quadratec 50 for 50 project, which is just one of many projects she and her club completed to improve motorized trails and public lands.
Finally, we would like to honor Nena Barlow with the Tread Lightly! Legacy Award for her longtime advocacy and passion for off-road ethics. Nena is an industry staple who advocates for responsible off-roading in everything she does, especially in the Moab and Sedona areas where she operates Barlow Adventures. Nena is a Tread Trainer and certified Master Trainer for the International 4 Wheel Drive Association and one of the founders of the Red Rock OHV Conservation Crew.
“Ron has been instrumental in helping Quadratec with several 50/50 projects, with logistics, support, communication, and actual work. When I speak with Ron about tread lightly projects, he is not only knowledgeable, but excited to give back to the off-road community and trails. He is a true professional and someone I look forward to working with in the future.”-Eric Ammerman
“Ron worked on a program with Land Rover at the beginning of October that was able to get 3500 pounds of waste out of Green Mountain National Forest in a single day, he scouted all of the locations, marked the sites and helped make arrangements with the Forest Service for removal. In another two-day effort, Ron assisted White Mountain National Forest with several projects, including closing off a user-created trail, relocating a footpath, cleaning up a campground and replacement of several worn kiosks with a sign upgrade. Using only a picture as a reference, Ron purchased wood and built 3 replacements of a much higher quality than what we replaced. With carpentry, caulk work and 4 coats of paint, these projects took several days of work before they even arrived on site for replacement.”-Todd Ireland
“I personally know Ron has sacrificed untold hours into clean upstairs, bridge rebuilds, and monitors cameras to HJeep a place in New Hampshire safe from errant off readers. He also is a patient and thorough teacher in all things Tread Lightly. He is the poster child of what volunteerism is all about.”-Patrick Lambert
“Ron is a member in our club and answered a plea for help when I needed a volunteer to take over to keep a place open, or actually to reopen access in East Dorset, VT. He is very influential in our area and we’ve been lucky to have him as a member for a few years. He attracts new members and also helped us join Tread Lightly this year (Mohawk 4×4 Adventures). Ron took our initial game plan and has worked on it and made improvements and used his resources to continue making progress. He’s a true role model and can assert his opinion without creating conflicts.”-Michael White
“Ron works tirelessly to not only keep access to trails open and accessible but he does so in such a way that people who would possibly oppose this use are educated and want to also keep the trails open. His work in the White Mountains National Forest to help update trail signs and to make sure the campground was clean helped to demonstrate this within just my own state. Some of his work in Vermont includes the Dorset Cave area where he is working with local authorities to preserve access and make sure the area is taken care of after years of abuse.”-Taylor Kronuch
“The Squirrel Hill Bridge project in Dorset Vermont was a harrowing 2 day effort, much of which involved carrying materials up a 100yd hill to re-deck a bridge on a class IV road. This bridge had been compromised and was declared structurally unsound in 2021. We closed it down early last winter, installing signage to let people know the road was closed. Ron spec’d out a lumber for a new deck, which is built to a much higher standard than the original. Ron was the first one on site, and the last one to stop working. He was also the one who identified the need for the project in the first place.
In another two-day effort, we assisted White Mountain National Forest with several projects, including closing off a user-created trail, relocating a footpath, cleaning up a campground and replacement of several worn kiosks with a sign upgrade. Using only a picture as a reference, Ron purchased wood and built 3 replacements of a much higher quality than what we replaced. With carpentry, caulk work and 4 coats of paint, these projects took several days of work before they even arrived on site for replacement.
We worked on a program with Land Rover at the beginning of October that was able to get 3500 pounds of waste out of Green Mountain National Forest in a single day, he scouted all of the locations, marked the sites and helped make arrangements with the Forest Service for removal.
He talks about Tread Lightly! ethics with anyone who will listen and urges all of his clients to join and support the projects we do every year. He cares more than anyone I know about making sure these opportunities that many take for granted are available for future generations.”-Matt Konkle
“Cat works tirelessly to preserve the trails and wilderness in Colorado. She created and leads the Colorado 4×4 Girls which adopts and maintains trails in partnership with Forest Service and BLM primarily in the Clear Creek Ranger District. She recently worked closely with Tread Lightly for a grant to remove an entire trailer from the side of a mountain (Montane Road, Idaho Spring CO)! Over the years Cat has single-handedly organized hundreds of volunteers on constant and multiple trail cleanups. Cat takes every possible opportunity to educate, pick up trash, and preserve our trails. I don’t know anyone more dedicated to keeping our public lands beautiful. She has shown and giving so much back to not only the trails but the club she has founded as well and has made a growth of not only her but all of us loving and wanting to give back and keep our trails open.”-Stephanie Hansen
“Cat founded the Colorado 4×4 Girls (formerly known as Colorado Jeep Girls) in 2012 and has created. It isn’t only a sisterhood but a huge impact in our local lands. The club has sponsored trails all over Clear Creek County and works very closely with the local FS. We added another trail to our “network” which they quickly approved with FS because of the reliability Cat’s efforts and leadership have brought to our local forest. Trail access is constantly being threatened in Colorado due to various things like land ownership, burn scars, the negligence of humans, etc. The club clean ups bring so many hands out to keep clean some of the trails with the easiest access that get devastated with trash. We have removed materials, dog crates, pillows, shotgun shells, 12-person tents, numbers recliners and even a camper that was shredded into pieces that we removed and worked with Stay the Trail and Tread Lightly to remove from a campsite where it sat for a year or more. I couldn’t imagine how these areas would look if it weren’t for our commitment to clean up – how infested these spaces are. Even if we are not on a scheduled trail ride, our crew is committed to leaving it better than we found it and will always clean up trash anytime we are out. Being raised in the mountains and working with FS since she was a child, she has immense rapport in the local community influencing positive OHV culture in a state that is growing insanely quick with lots of bad OHV habits coming with them, destroying ecosystems, the land and trail access. Without Cats education and resources she has built over her life time has changed our state for the better.“-Ally Doherty
“Cat has made it a lifelong goal to help maintain, preserve, advocate and love the trails and wilderness areas in Colorado as well as in Utah and any other state she has visited for enjoying her favorite activity of the off-road, Jeep lifestyle. She created and leads the Colorado 4×4 Girls (formerly Colorado Jeep Girls), which just celebrated it’s 10th anniversary this year. The CO4x4G club has numerous adopted trails in the Colorado mountains and maintains these trails in partnership with Forest Service and BLM primarily in the Clear Creek Ranger District. This summer of 2022 she worked closely with Tread Lightly for a grant to remove an entire trailer from the side of a mountain (Montane road, Idaho Springs, CO)! Over the years Cat has single-handedly organized hundreds of volunteers to coordinate multiple trail cleanups equaling thousands of hours of accumulated volunteer hours and has had a huge positive impact on those trails in many different levels for both humans and wildlife. She has partnered with other off-road groups and clubs such as the Western Slope 4 Wheelers of Montrose, CO to help maintain and keep open trails such as the Poughkeepsie Gulch Trail clean up in 2020 in Ouray, Colorado to help in opening that trail after years of closure. She supports the highways and roads of Colorado as well with a club sponsorship of the Keep Colorado Clean program and has 2 sections of Hwy 83 near Parker, CO that hosts clean ups once a quarter. Cat takes every possible opportunity to create educational opportunities for her off-road community and the public in general, picking up trash along any trail ride, and preserving our trails for future use and wildlife/nature conservation. I don’t know anyone more dedicated to keeping our public lands beautiful, open and used in a respective nature. She is truly a “Tread Lightly” ambassador to the core of her being and everything she stands for in the community and her life.“-Kara Schar
“Founding member of RROCC in Sedona Arizona and numerous projects all over the Southwest. Master Tread Trainer who walks the walk in every single aspect of her business and personal life. Nena has assisted the USFS and BLM to maintain and improve trail conditions in both Arizona and Utah and is recognized by her peers as the most prominent voice on responsible recreation for all users of public lands. Nena lives her life to the tread principles!”-Mary Leas
“Nena has been active in stewardship and teaching responsible motorized recreation for many years. As a volunteer, teacher, and role model she has had a major impact, not just on specific trail projects, but also in raising awareness and getting others involved in becoming responsible stewards of the land. She has been instrumental in the organizing of the Red Rock OHV Conservation Crew working to keep the Sedona area trails open (Coconino NF) and she and her staff are often out there on the ground doing clean ups, trail maintenance and repair, as well as continuing to educate recreationalists on responsible trail use. Nena is also active in keeping up with land use policy and advocating for the trails to stay open when there are issues, attending meetings, and getting the word out so that others can comment and make their voices heard to the land managers when trail closures are being considered. She has also provided support and volunteers on projects in Moab and on the Rubicon trail (El Dorado NF, Tahoe NF). In addition to all she does as a volunteer and teacher, she also regularly advocates and educates her social media followers posting content that encourages others to become active and engaged in nurturing our trails and keeping access open.”-JoMarie Fecci