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Meet Ryan Linhart

April 30, 2018 at 1:15pm

A USDA Forest Service Region 1 law enforcement officer, who grew up in Montana, Ryan Linhart wanted to be a game warden and through various classes in college at the University of Wyoming he had the opportunity to work with game wardens from the state of Wyoming. However, in 2005, the first internship he had was with USDA Forest Service Law Enforcement and that changed everything.

From day one on the job Ryan knew he wanted to be a law enforcement officer or a LEO with the Agency. He credits the change of heart to “some pretty awesome guys and gals from Law Enforcement and Investigations [LE&I] who took me in and made me want to be a law enforcement officer.”


Ryan Linhart is a Region 1 Eastern Zone Law Enforcement Officer.

Ryan Linhart is a Region 1 Eastern Zone Law Enforcement Officer. (Photo Credit: USDA Forest Service.)

What is your favorite part of the job?

I have done almost every seasonal job with the Forest Service. I started as a wildlife technician, worked as a rec tech, a backcountry tech, an assistant stock manager, and even did a season at the Quake Lake Visitor Center. My favorite part of the job is keeping up with my peers. There are a lot of outstanding LEOs and special agents in our agency, and that pushes me to be at their level every day. I also enjoy working with outside agencies as well. I tell everyone I won the lottery when it comes to the job I have. That is in part due to the other agency colleagues I get to work with at my duty station on a daily basis. When you develop community relationships, it really makes you feel like a part of something greater than just yourself.   

 

Where did you grow up?

I am a third generation farm kid from Montana. My family farms and ranches in central Montana. 

 

Who or what inspired you growing up?

My dad was a reserve officer for the local sheriff’s department for 42 years. Seeing how he treated people with respect and his genuine concern to make our community a better place made me want to do the same. The same can be said about my mom. She has the biggest heart and cares so much about others that seeing her care for everyone around her made me try to follow her lead.

I still believe in the values that the rural upbringing taught me: that someone’s word and a handshake mean something.  And to always put others first. There is something to be said about someone’s character when you see them putting the needs of others above their own. Seeing how farmers and ranchers care for the land was a big push for me to work for a land management agency. 

 


Linhart assisting with a reconnaissance mission to observe off-highway vehicle use in the mountains on the Custer Gallatin National Forest. (Photo Credit: USDA Forest Service.)

Linhart assisting with a reconnaissance mission to observe off-highway vehicle use in the mountains on the Custer Gallatin National Forest. (Photo Credit: USDA Forest Service.)

What do you do for fun on your free time?

For fun I like to archery hunt. I also really enjoy pheasant hunting with family and friends. My sister is highly competitive and probably one of the best shooters you would ever meet, so I enjoy trying to keep up with her. I better not forget to mention snowmobiling as well. If anyone hasn’t seen the Rocky Mountains after a fresh dumping of Montana powder, here is your invite. There is nothing like it. The sleds will be full of 91 octane and waiting! For all the Law Enforcement staff reading this, there is a snowmobile course in West Yellowstone every year, so sign up and come see for yourselves!

 

What is your highest personal and professional achievement?

My highest personal achievement would probably be the day my dad trusted me to operate the combine on our farm. May not seem like much, but it’s an expensive piece of equipment, and like most dads, mine is pretty overprotective, so it meant a lot to me. My highest professional achievement would be the day I was hired to be a law enforcement officer. I have been fortunate through this job to attend some pretty amazing trainings that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to be part of.

 


Ryan Linhart serving as the team leader and giving the morning operational briefing to his team in preparation for a mission. (Photo Credit: USDA Forest Service.)

Ryan Linhart serving as the team leader and giving the morning operational briefing to his team in preparation for a mission. (Photo Credit: USDA Forest Service.)

How would you like the public to perceive the work we do at the Forest Service?

I would like the public to perceive the work we do at the Forest Service as a positive reflection of our love of the resources. I would like the public to know that we care about the land, and we strive every day to make a difference. Sometimes it is hard for the public to see the work we accomplish. Everyone brings unique and beneficial aspects to this agency. Whether it’s a firefighter in Idaho with a love for life and helping others or a special agent in North Dakota with some of the most inspirational quotes you will ever hear, these are things the public needs to see us for: our dedication and commitment to making a difference.    

 

What are your future career goals?

At this moment I am just happy being able to do what I do every day. It is an amazing feeling to be considered part of the LE&I family, as well as being a part of the Forest Service. 

 

Do you have any advice for someone wanting to serve their country as a Forest Service employee?

For anyone wanted to become a Forest Service employee, my advice would be, be patient. It takes time. Hard work and dedication does pay off. Don’t be discouraged when you don’t get what you want right away. It seems that in today’s world, there are a lot of people who want instant gratification. But when you put the time and work in, you are far better off when you do achieve what you want. You will have a better appreciation for the job, and you will be far more experienced and knowledgeable and patient. And patience is a big part of any Forest Service job.

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