Dear Editor:

I was glad to see a Public Lands Foundation award going to Sandy and Geoff Freethey in last week’s Moab Sun, as I can’t think of a more deserving duo (“Freetheys receive Landscape Stewardship Award,” Oct. 19-25, 2017 Moab Sun News). Upon moving to Moab in 2001, I attended a few Trail Mix meetings for the collaborative development of non-motorized trails. Although I could see David Olsen’s vision for this new county committee, I didn’t see Trail Mix gain much speed for the first few years. Once the Freetheys joined, Trail Mix found a higher gear. Over the next decade, they built trust with various stakeholders by encouraging participation while expecting accountability. Whenever Trail Mix projects interfaced with off-highway vehicle trails, the Freetheys approached my employer (Ride with Respect) as well as others to ensure that recreational uses remained compatible, from planning through implementation. They didn’t talk about this coordination, initiative or perseverance. Rather, they just lived it. As volunteers, no less. Even after retiring from Trail Mix, the Freetheys are working through the BLM simply for the satisfaction of benefiting public lands.