Growing up in Portland, Oregon surrounded by mountains and the ocean, Regan Eivers learned to respect the outdoors at a very young age. So much so that after graduating from high school, she wanted to take a job that would literally take her into the woods. She found that job with the USDA Forest Service. Regan started her long and successful career with the agency on the forest named after the founder of the Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot.
On the Gifford Pinchot National Forest she learning about how the agency works by planting trees and helping to fight wildland fires. Now a Law Enforcement Officer with the Forest Service, Regan is beginning a new chapter in her life and will be retiring at the end of the year.
Faces of the Forest Service caught up with Regan when the US Capitol Christmas Tree rolled into Washington, DC last month. Regan was one of the team members who provided the very important law enforcement protections needed as the massive tree was literally hauled on a trailer from the Willamette National Forest in Oregon across the country to our Nation’s Capital.
After decades working with the Forest Service what was the favorite part of your job?
I did so many things for the Forest Service from planting trees, fighting wildfires, cleaning campgrounds, clearing trails, and educating our youth to protecting the land and property of the United States. But I’d have to say my favorite part of the job is being a Law Enforcement Officer/K9 Handler. Not many people can say they work in the woods and play with a dog all day.
Who or what inspired you growing up?
My parents where my biggest supporters and were very happy that I chose to work for the Forest Service.
What do you like to do for fun on your free time?
I like to hike in our beautiful national forests, play with my dogs, and work on my house.
What is your highest personal and professional achievement?
Over the 39 years that I’ve worked for the Forest Service, it’s difficult to choose just one thing, but I guess my highest achievement has to be the last 20 years I spent in Law Enforcement. I’ve helped and educated visitors and even taken bad guys off the streets. I’ve protected the natural resources and property of the United States.
How has your education, background, or personal experiences prepared you for the work that you do now?
I have a degree in law enforcement and another in forestry. My father was a Portland police officer who taught me about respect. Experience is the biggest thing, and listening and learning from others have helped me achieve my goals throughout my career.
You’re involved with helping to bring the US Capitol Christmas Tree to Capitol Hill this year. What was the highlight of that journey?
Every day brought a new challenge. It was an honor to drive across this great country of ours. The highlight of my journey took me back to Harrison, Ohio, where I met a young boy with special needs. This young boy bought treats for my K9 partner, Drex, as he really wanted to meet him! Drex loved his gifts and played fetch with the boy and his friends.
How would you like the public to perceive the work we do at the Forest Service?
I want the public to see that we do more than deliver a Christmas tree across the country—we are also protecting property and resources of the United States.
What are your planning to do after you retire?
I’m a member of a Type I Incident Management Team as the Security Manager, and I plan to stay with that for a while. My hopes are to spend quality time with my grandchildren.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to serve their country as a Forest Service employee?
My advice is to continue your education after high school. Explore the outdoors, talk to people who have worked or work for the agency. I’ve had a great ride and would do it over in a heartbeat!