Wallowa-Whitman National Forest gets new supervisor

By By Bill Rautenstrauch The Observer August 10, 2012 09:22 am
Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Kent Connaughton announced Friday that Kevin Martin, the Umatilla National Forest Supervisor in Pendleton, will become the Wallowa Whitman Forest Supervisor until further notice.

Martin replaces Monica Schwalbach, the supervisor who was in charge when the Wallowa-Whitman unveiled its controversial Travel Management Plan last spring. In April, Schwalbach withdrew the plan, and the Forest Service is in the process of gathering more public comment. A press release said Schwalbach has taken a new assignment with the Pacific Northwest Research Station in Portland.

In the press release, Connaughton said Martin believes in strong relationships, and is well known for his work with both external community groups and the internal workforce on the Umatilla National Forest.  

'Kevin’s strength of skills, in both natural resources work and community engagement, will be strong assets for the Wallowa Whitman National Forest,” Connaughton said.

Martin, a graduate of both Iowa State University and Oregon State University, has served as the Umatilla National Forest Supervisor for the past eight years in Pendleton.  The Ft. Dodge, Iowa native has degrees in Animal Ecology, Entomology, and Wildlife Science.

Also via the press release, Martin said he feels passionate about Eastern Oregon.

“I enjoy working and living in Eastern Oregon and have spent quite a lot of my career doing so.  I am impressed with the Wallowa Whitman National Forest employees, the landscapes they get to work in and the amount of work they have been accomplishing," he said.

He said he looks forward to meeting with the employees and the Forest’s public, listening to their concerns and needs, and seeing how he can assist. 

"I believe good communications and understanding of one another’s needs  will lead us to achieve great things,” he said.