Ranger starts as temporary Fremont-Winema deputy forest supervisor

Contact(s): Tamara Schmidt

LAKEVIEW, Ore. – It’s a little bit of a drop in elevation for Acting Fremont-Winema Deputy Forest Supervisor Kathy Johnson, but there are still plenty of meadows, aspens, canyons and mountains in Lake and Klamath counties for it to feel like home for the summer.

Johnson is coming to the Fremont-Winema from the Fishlake National Forest, where she’s served as the Beaver District ranger in Beaver, Utah, for more than three years.  The lowest elevation on the District is 5,898 feet – more than 1,000 feet higher than Lakeview.

Last week Johnson started a temporary assignment in Lakeview as deputy forest supervisor.  She is filling in behind Eric Watrud, who recently moved to Pendleton as supervisor for the Umatilla National Forest.

Johnson will be on the Forest through late September or until the position is filled permanently, whichever occurs first.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to serve as the acting deputy forest supervisor for the Fremont-Winema National Forest,” Johnson said.  “It’s great to be back in Oregon and to learn more about this unique and diverse forest.”

Johnson’s start with the Forest Service was as a wilderness ranger in northern California.  She also worked in temporary positions in northern California, Montana and Utah.

She is a graduate of Humboldt State University with bachelor’s degrees in wildlife and range management.  Following graduation and time as a temporary employee, Johnson joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Honduras.

Her first permanent job with the Forest Service was as a wildlife biologist on the Mendocino National Forest in northern California.  During her career she has served as district wildlife biologist on the Crescent Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest, the Emmett Ranger District of the Boise National Forest and the Ely Ranger District of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

“We are happy to have Kathy join our leadership team,” said Forest Supervisor Barry Imler. “Her years of experience working on complex forests in rural communities is a great asset for the Fremont-Winema and the communities we serve.”

Johnson’s husband is a retired wildland firefighter and they have three grown children.

“Gary and I are looking forward to spending time not only in Lakeview but all of the communities that are part of the Fremont-Winema National Forest, and having the opportunity to explore some of the special places out in the forest over the next several months,” Johnson said.  “We both feel very fortunate to spend the summer in such a remarkable place.”

For more information on the Fremont-Winema National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/fremont-winema, follow the Forest on Twitter @FremontWinemaNF or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/R6FWNF.