Umatilla National Forest welcomes new North Fork John Day District Ranger

Contact(s): Darcy Weseman, (541) 278-3722

PENDLETON, Ore. - Umatilla National Forest Supervisor Eric Watrud is pleased to welcome Paula Guenther as the new North Fork John Day District Ranger, effective May 29.

“I am pleased to have Paula, who is such an experienced and highly qualified individual, join the forest’s leadership staff,” said Watrud.  “Paula brings a diverse mix of resource management skills and enthusiasm that will serve the forest and our communities well.”

Guenther replaces Ian Reid who transferred to the Deschutes National Forest as the Sisters District Ranger in Sisters, Oregon. Guenther comes to the Umatilla National Forest from the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests in Saratoga, Wyoming where she has served as an Environmental Coordinator since 2016.

“I have spent most of my career in small western towns with roots in agriculture, forestry and land uses on public lands,” said Guenther. “I love these places and look forward to strengthening the connections between the Umatilla National Forest, Ukiah and surrounding communities.”

Guenther has demonstrated exceptional leadership in collaborative planning and with other agencies and partners. Guenther worked throughout the western regions as Collaborative Planning Specialist for forest plan revision between 2015- 2016 for the Inventory, Monitoring and Assessment Program of the Washington office. She also served as Acting Brush Creek/Hayden District Ranger on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest in Saratoga, Wyoming in 2012. Prior to that, Guenther worked as a Recreation Program Manager on the Parks Ranger District of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest in Walden, Colorado, and in several aquatic resource positions on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests/Thunder Basin National Grassland and Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests/Pawnee National Grassland.

Outside the Forest Service, Guenther led a community-based conservation program as North Platte Project Director for the Nature Conservancy of Colorado and Wyoming, and was Supervisory Biologist for the Bureau of Land Management Rawlins Field Office. Guenther has a bachelor’s degree in Zoology and Physiology/Chemistry/Anthropology from University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in Water Resource Management from University of Wyoming.

Guenther recalls many of her earliest childhood memories are from camping, canoeing and climbing fire towers on national forests across the country. Guenther and her partner, Mike, have spent the last decade hiking and photographing unique landscapes together, and are eager to explore the Blue Mountains and eastern Oregon. Guenther also has a daughter, Robin, who will start college at George Washington University later this summer.

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