Rob Biller's report of hiking across Roan Mountain this past weekend, as part of the Annual Meeting activities of The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, is easily passed off as another birding list from one of our Bristol-Birds Net subscribers and birders. It is no secret that Rob has a love and devotion for the highlands of the Roan and efforts to preserve this wonderful place in the cloudlands along the Tennessee-North Carolina border of Northeast Tennessee. A much better-kept secret is that last year Rob was awarded The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy's very prestigious and rare recognition with the conservancy's Stan Murray Award for Volunteer Service to the conservation of this area and the SAHC. Many of his friends, fellow SAHC supporters and such will consider this very old news. No one considered this either important enough to share with the rest of our Bristol-Birds subscribers, to Rob Biller, nor to a greater audience of naturalists that stretches far beyond one's imagination. In 1989, the Stanley A. Murray Award for Volunteer Service was created to honor persons who have made outstanding volunteer contributions to the work of The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, emulating the lifelong dedication of the SAHC founder, Stanley A. Murray of Kingsport. Biller, a member of the Bristol Bird Club since the mid-1990's, lives in Elizabethton these days. One might say that Rob's love for birds first drew him to SAHC. For several years Rob assisted Seasonal Ecologist Nora Schubert with Golden-winged Warbler surveys in Hampton Creek Cove and on Roan Mountain. He also assisted in International Migratory Bird Day bird counts at Hampton Creek Cove. Rob is also a member of the Tennessee Ornithological Society's Lee and Lois Herndon Chapter at Elizabethton. You might catch him leading a hike at the Spring and Fall Roan Mountain Naturalist Rallies or on an SAHC hike at Hampton Creek Cove State Natural Area. Hand-cutting blackberries and hawthorns which threaten the beauty and biological diversity of the well-known grassy balds in the Highlands of Roan is one of Rob's contributions to SAHC and to the bird community. It is vital to maintain the grassy balds in order for the globally endangered communities to survive. Rob has participated in balds management with the Roany Boyz Crew and the Grassy Ridge Mow-Off Crew for several years. In addition to field contributions, Rob has helped with various computer and program software trouble-shooting and installation at SAHC's Roan Stewardship field office. He donated his time to design and install a new computer for SAHC's Roan Stewardship Director, Judy Murray. The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy is one of the country's oldest and most respected land trusts. Founded in 1974 as a non-profit, charitable organization, the SAHC's mission is to protect the world's oldest mountains for the benefit of present and future generations. The Conservancy works with individuals and local communities to identify, preserve, and manage the region's important lands. The Conservancy has helped ensure the protection of more than 40,000 acres throughout the mountain region. Much work remains to be done. This past weekend, the Southern Appalachian Highland Conservancy had its annual "Roan Romp" weekend with hikes on Roan Mountain and the meeting in Crossnore, NC. Biller participated on the Overmountain Victory Trail hike on Saturday and the walk through the Rhododendron Gardens at the top of the mountain on Sunday. The Hike Saturday (June 13) started in North Carolina at Roaring Creek and quickly came in to Tennessee crossing the Appalachian Trail and followed the Overmountain Victory Trail to Hampton Creek Cove (Carter County - near Roan Mountain). Rob was there again to contribute in his own ways to what he loves and the wonderful natural area of Roan Mountain and surrounding areas. It is never too late to continue to spread the good word and good recognition for great services by one of our own.