Commissioner Peck receives annual communicator award

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Lincoln County Commissioner Mark Peck was left “almost speechless” when handed a “Communicator of the Year” award earlier this month.

“I was extremely humbled,” said Peck, who was recognized by the Montana Wood Products Association at its 46th annual convention in Missoula. “I did not expect it at all.”

In fact, Peck said when he was invited to the event he thought it was to participate in a roundtable discussion.

Julia Altemus, executive director of the association, shared with The Western News some of the comments board members made in nominating Peck.

“Mark has emerged as a strong voice and advocate for improved management of our National forests,” states one comment. “While his focus is on the Kootenai National Forest since that encompasses most of Lincoln County, Marks passion extends to better management of our public assets in general.”

“Marks past experiences as the Unit Manager for DNRC Libby Unit and OES [Office of Emergency Services] gives him a unique perspective on forest management from a community impact standpoint,” states another.

Peck was also praised for encouraging collaboration among the numerous stakeholders whose interests in the uses of forest lands are at times at odds, and for being “a good if not somewhat unconventional spokesperson for the benefits of active [forest] management.”

Because reforming forestry practices and restoring the timber industry and culture to Lincoln County are among his passions, Peck said the award in recognition of that “rates at the top” of several awards he received during his 20-year military career.

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