It’s difficult to believe it has been a year since Gary passed.  We miss him dearly and remember his friendship, love for family and professionalism. 

In an email last April, those of us working on the Gary Barnett Memorial Tahoe National Forest Portal Sign Project gave a brief update on the progress of the sign. We are finally at the point where we can request donations for the portal sign at the westbound I-80 boundary of the Tahoe National Forest. 

This project was very important to Gary.  His brother Greg Barnett recently sent the following note about Gary’s wish to complete the portal sign:

“Gary spent thirty-five years working with the Forest Service, on the Klamath, Eldorado, and Tahoe National Forests and took immense pride in its traditions and history.  He was so immersed in the Forest Service mission and its culture that he referred to himself as an informal Forest Service archivist.  He enjoyed sharing this information with anyone who was interested. 

The Tahoe National Forest is bisected by Interstate 80, one of the most traveled highways in the country.  It was Gary’s long standing mission to have portal signs placed on both sides of Interstate 80, so that motorists would know when they were entering the Tahoe National Forest. After many years of lobbying for the signs, Gary’s work with other employees resulted in the eastbound sign being installed on Interstate 80, near Colfax. However, at the time of Gary’s death last year, a sign had not yet been installed on westbound Interstate 80.

In honor of Gary’s love for the Tahoe National Forest, where he spent the bulk of his career, and his dedication to the Forest Service, we hope that you will help support the Forest Service in fulfilling Gary’s wish in procuring and installing a portal sign on westbound Interstate 80.”

As a long-time formal partner of the Tahoe National Forest, we will accept the tax deductible donations for the sign. Preliminary work has been done by the Forest Service, with a potential site being selected near the forest boundary on westbound I-80.  We will work with the Truckee Ranger District to finish the project in the summer of 2020. The sign will look like the one at the eastbound portal (see photo).  We hope to raise about $10,000 for this significant project.

Here’s how you can contribute:  

1)    Send a check made out to ESIA, noting that the donation is for the Gary Barnett Memorial Sign, to ESIA, 190 East Yaney Street, Bishop, CA 93514.

2)    Donate online. Fill in the amount you want to donate and under Direct your Donation select Gary Barnett Memorial Tahoe NF Portal Sign.  You will receive a receipt in your email.

If you have any questions regarding your donation or have trouble donating online please call or text Nancy Upham at 760-937-8081or email her at .  Judie Tartaglia can be contacted at or 530-559-0322.

Thanks so much for being a part of this significant and meaningful tribute to our good friend, Gary Barnett.