July 31, 2002 11:00 pm

Suzanne Rainville is finding it "really hard to leave La Grande," but the new offer is too good to turn down.

A natural resources staff officer for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, Rainville will move to Boise Aug. 26, where she will be deputy supervisor for the Boise National Forest.

She and her husband, Bob, coordinator for the Blue Mountain Demonstration Forest and former La Grande District ranger, have lived in La Grande for 10 years.

"We've put down some roots," Suzanne Rainville said. "It's the longest place we've lived in our Forest Service career. It was really hard for us to think about going anywhere else."

For the next few months, the Rainvilles will live apart, as Bob will continue to supervise the Demonstration Forest. Their long-term plans are for him to move to Boise.

Suzanne, who began with the Forest Service in 1978, has worked in several places, including being the ranger for the Crescent District in the Deschutes National Forest. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, she holds a master's degree in silviculture from the University of Idaho.

Rainville left the Wallowa-Whitman a few weeks ago, and until she reports to Boise, she is the acting deputy forest supervisor in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest.

"I've enjoyed every single one of my jobs," she said. "But I knew for me that at a certain point, I said, ‘I need a change. I could be doing more.' But from the moment I started a position to the day I left, I enjoyed whatever I was doing."

During their time in La Grande, the Rainvilles were foster parents and provided a home away from home for several Rotary exchange students. She was involved in developing and improving Sunny Hill Park, a neighborhood park.

"If there's any place we'd want to settle down permanently, La Grande is one place Bob and I would choose," she said.

As the deputy forest supervisor, Suzanne Rainville will represent the supervisor in "anything affecting the forest, either externally or internally. I'll probably deal with different projects in different districts."

— Alice Perry Linker