It’s Fall – Time for Change

Tami Miketa, Manager of the Small Forest Landowner Office

Fall is always a time for change – the forests become speckled with yellow, gold and red; the rains return; and fleece and flannel come out of our closets. There’s been a lot of change in the Small Forest Landowner’s Office as well. In addition to Jim Bottorff (Forest Stewardship Wildlife Biologist) retiring last year, Rick Kuykendall (Family Forest Fish Passage Program Specialist) left us to work for a private forest management company; Michelle Peterschick (Grant Writer/Outreach Specialist) took a promotion to DNR’s State Lands program; and Mike Nystrom (Southwest Washington Landowner Assistance Forester) decided to hang up his stewardship hat and retire! That’s a lot of change for such a small office!!!

Part two of our changes are our new staff:
• Ken Bevis has signed on as our Forest Stewardship Wildlife Biologist in April. Ken is a lifelong naturalist and attributes his fascination with wild creatures and places to playing in the woods when he was young near his home in Virginia. He’s worked as a forestry technician for the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado; has his Teaching Certificate; and done field wildlife study on northern spotted owls. Ken tells me he loves every aspect of his job, especially meeting all the small forest landowners across the state, and he’s doing a great job for us!
• Laurie Cox is our new Family Forest Fish Passage Program Specialist. Laurie started with DNR back in 1985 as a Forest Worker. She has extensive experience working with small forest landowners when she was in her Forest Practices role in South Puget Sound Region, and she recently held the position as Road Maintenance and Abandonment Support Specialist here in Olympia. I am very excited to have Laurie on our team and I know she is anxious to get out in the field and work with small forest landowners on fish barrier removal projects. Welcome aboard Laurie!
• Carol Cloen has joined us as our Grant Writer/Outreach Specialist. Carol began her career at DNR 14 years ago as the Aquatics Program Manager for the South Puget Region and has helped develop policies related to outfalls and sediment contamination of state-owned aquatic land; was lead scientist for the Aquatic Lands HCP; and most recently served as the business manager for the wildstock geoduck program. Carol has extensive grant writing experience and will be fabulous at conducting outreach to support the Small Forest Landowner Office programs. Welcome aboard Carol!
• Cindy Tonasket has joined the Landowner Assistance Program in Chelan County. Cindy comes from Olympic Region, where she has worked as part of the Fire Program and as a Timber Sales Forester.

So, that leaves us with just one vacancy – the Southwest Washington Landowner Assistance Forester. If you’re interested in a rewarding career working closely with small forest landowners, this position would certainly fulfill that desire. If you’d like more information about this great career opportunity click here.

It’s sure true that the only thing constant in life is change! I am really looking forward to working with our new staff and helping them to help you with your small forest landowner needs.