Ranger wins national award | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ranger wins national award

It’s not every day people are thanked for the work they do, let alone get a national award for it.

But U.S. Forest Service employee Lori Allessio achieved just that.

Allessio, who has worked for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit for 20 years, recently received the Outstanding Recreation Advocate Award.

Nominated by the Tahoe chapter of the National Forest Homeowners Association, Allessio said the award is special to her because it comes from the owners of some 596 cabins that sit on Forest Service property in the basin.

“To be recognized by the people you serve is probably the highest point in one’s career,” Allessio said. “The best part of my job is meeting the people who all want the same thing: to have a place to enjoy with their families.”

Since 1905, the Forest Service has leased cabins to private owners. Cabin owners are given 20-year permits, and Allessio said all cabin permits in the basin expire in 2009.

At that time, the Forest Service will examine each cabin to determine if it can be repermitted.

Allessio said Forest Service cabins are often attractive buys, but said there are several costs associated with them.

Cabins in the basin have been sold for $40,000 to $375,000. The land cabins sit on is appraised and 5 percent of the appraised value is charged as rent for the land.

Allessio said there are usually homeowners association dues, which pay for road repairs in a cost-share program with the forest service. Owners also have to pay taxes on the cabins to the county.

Allessio said people who have owned cabins for several decades can sometimes forget the land they live on is public property.

“It takes a lot of patience and understanding sometimes,” Allessio said. “Cabin owners don’t always understand that people can picnic in their front yards.”

Her stewardship of the land and care for people also earned Allessio praise from LTBMU Forest Supervisor Maribeth Gustafson. Allessio is the third LTBMU employee to win the award.

“I’m very proud of Lori,” Gustafson said. “I think her earning this recognition is a major accomplishment. I’m glad to see we’re continuing to uphold our tradition of outstanding public service.”

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