KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
MANCHESTER -- The Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forest has announced the hiring of a new district ranger for the Manchester Ranger Station.
William Jackson was formerly the district recreation manager for a 1.3 million-acre district in Colorado. Jackson said he had gone on vacation in Vermont, and when the position opened up, he applied.
Jackson said some things between the two regions are the same -- namely how the Forest Service works with local governments, businesses, and individuals. The differences lie in the scale of projects, such as timber sales, trail maintenance and creation, and land management. He said Vermont’s green, wet terrain is also markedly different from Colorado’s dry, arid one.
Ethan Ready, spokesman for the Green Mountain National Forest, said the Manchester District runs roughly from the Readsboro area up to Route 4. District rangers oversee the administration of the ranger station and forest projects of all sorts within them.
Jackson joined the Forest Service in 2000, and before that had been with the Bureau of Land Management. He has experience with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and while he has mostly worked in Colorado, he has held temporary posts in locales as diverse as Alaska, New Mexico, Washington D.C., and Columbia, South America.
Jackson said he is from North Carolina originally, and the move to Vermont puts him within driving distance from family. Vermont is also an ideal place for the outdoor activities he and his family enjoy, he said.
He graduated from North Carolina State University in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management and a minor in economics. He studied migrating birds in his home state before joining the Peace Corps for two years and going to Honduras. After that, he moved to Fort Collins, Colo., and took up a graduate program in outdoor recreation at Colorado State University.
"Bill brings with him a wealth of knowledge and some very practical experience that will make him a great addition to the Green Mountain National Forest," said Colleen Madrid forest supervisor for the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests.
Jackson said he has been busy learning the local dynamics, and sees repairing damage to forest road infrastructure caused by Tropical Storm Irene last fall as one of the tasks he will take on.
"I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to working closely with our partners, communities, and municipal leaders to enhance opportunities on the Manchester District," Jackson said. "I have heard nothing but positive reviews about this district and the surrounding communities. I am confident that this will be a wonderful place to work and to call home."
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr