National Forest Foundation

New Staff: Meet Matt

National Forest Foundation

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The Sierra Nevada Mountains and Lake Tahoe area are special places for me. Growing up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, the surrounding National Forests and public land were an integral part of my formative years. Lakes and boat camping, hiking, skiing, fishing, and swimming kept me busy. Spending this time in the forest and mountains instilled deeply in my life many experiences that, in adulthood, have crystalized into my passion for nature, ecology, adventure, and a fierce loyalty to public land.

After high school, I started my first job as a wildland firefighter in 2001, working in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. For the following 16 years, I worked for local, state, and federal management agencies as a member of helitack, hotshot, and wildland fire module crews across the Western United States.

Working close to fire, I learned the dynamics of fire ecology and saw first-hand the damage and consequences of a ‘suppress fire at all cost’ management paradigm. These fireline experiences propelled me towards graduate school at Northern Arizona University.

After completing a Master of Science in the Environmental Science and Policy program at NAU, I began work with the City of Flagstaff to help implement on-the-ground projects within a multi-agency, forest management collaborative called the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. I am excited to join the NFF team, and to continue working alongside the Tahoe National Forest to help implement and manage more forest health and recreation projects around Tahoe and across the Sierra Nevada.


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