Dear NFF Blog Followers,
I am delighted to greet you as the National Forest Foundation’s (NFF) Ecosystem Services Program Manager at the national office here in Missoula. I just joined the team as of June 10, 2012 after completing my Master’s degree and spending a short time as a born-again USFS employee. I couldn’t imagine a better transition into a meaningful career, as I have a profound connection to the National Forest System and a keen interest in ecosystem service partnerships.
My position here at the NFF is the result of a slight reorganization of the Development Staff. Greg Peters, who has served as the Development Program Coordinator (and done an outstanding job!) will now be transitioning into the Associate Director of Development. Previously, Greg had managed the tree-planting and Carbon Capital Fund Programs. As the Ecosystem Services Program Manager, I will assume Greg’s previous responsibilities as well as develop a watershed-based program.
Many multifaceted experiences with National Forest System led me on the path to the NFF. I was initially introduced to National Forests as a child on backpacking trips in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California. I renewed my connection to National Forests by working on the Eldorado National Forest in Northern California. Midway through my tenure on the Eldorado, I moved to Montana to finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Resource Conservation, with a minor in Wilderness Studies. Once I was exposed to the outstanding public lands of western Montana, I knew I was going to be here for a while!
Shortly after finishing my degree, I worked on the Lolo National Forest for two years as a Trail Crew Leader and Wilderness Ranger. After a couple of years of field work, I resolved to focus my energies on an advanced education that would broaden my conservation impact. As a graduate student at Northern Arizona University, I worked to address one of the most ubiquitous challenges the Forest Service faces—forest restoration and management funding shortfalls—with an innovative approach called Payment for Watershed Services. As the result of working closely for two years to connect downstream water users to their National Forests, I developed a comprehensive knowledge of and deep appreciation for partnerships.
I look forward to getting settled here at NFF and working with NFF’s partner organizations to continue to build a program that has an outstanding track record. A pleasure to meet you all!