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Regional office names new special assistant for accelerated restoration
PORTLAND — The Pacific Northwest Region of the USDA Forest Service announced today Wallowa-Whitman Forest Supervisor John Laurence will leave his position this fall to take on new responsibilities at the Regional Office in Portland.
“John has served a tremendous role for the Forest Service and more specifically for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest for the last two years,” said Regional Forester Jim Peña. “His ability to build relationships and steward our natural resources and communities has been remarkable and we look forward to what he will bring to our regional efforts.”
Laurence will use his breadth of experience from Northeast Oregon to serve as the Special Assistant to Peña in charge of developing an enhanced management-science partnership to further the regional strategy to accelerate the pace and scale of ecosystem restoration of resilience.
Laurence will remain as Forest Supervisor until his successor is named.
“The search for a new Forest Supervisor for the Wallowa-Whitman will begin immediately,” Peña said. “I am confident we will be able to attract the right person to continue building relationships with the public and with our partners.”
Peña further stated he is seeking a candidate to carry on the tradition the Forest has established in being an integral part of the community and providing goods, services, recreation, and solitude to the millions of Americans that enjoy the splendor of Northeast Oregon.
Laurence is looking forward to his new role, but expressed deep appreciation for his time in the community of Northeast Oregon.
“It has been my privilege to lead the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest for almost two years,” Laurence said. “Working with a group of professionals dedicated to managing our nation’s natural resources to serve our communities while ensuring they will be there for the long haul has been fantastic. Our Forest Service employees truly do serve you and our communities — they are your neighbors — and care for your public lands. This has been an opportunity of a lifetime for me,” said Laurence. “I thank the people of Northeast Oregon for welcoming me and for providing a community that cares deeply about our public lands."