Growing up on a farm in a small town, Tawny learned early on the importance of hard work and dedication to a job well done. She also has a fond appreciation for the outdoors, something a family member knew well so she encouraged her niece to apply for a position at the U.S. Forest Service and 14 years on as a law enforcement officer Tawny knows it was the right decision.
What is your favorite part of your job?
As a law enforcement officer my favorite part of the job is getting an opportunity to help people. Quite frequently I get to assist in search and rescues and medical emergencies and I enjoy knowing that at a time when people need help the most, I get to step in and be the one to help them.
I also enjoy the fact that I’m constantly getting to do new things. In law enforcement, you never know what call you might get next, or what you’ll come across while you’re out patrolling. We also get the opportunity to go on work assignments across the country for different things and it’s always great to see new work areas and help the different districts or the Forest Service with the problems they may be having.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up on a pig farm in a small farming community called Hooper, Utah. Growing up we had lots of pigs, but also had cows, horses, chickens, geese, and ducks. We also had land and farmed it. I learned to drive the feed truck as soon as I was tall enough to see over the steering wheel! I also drove tractors and had feeding chores to do every day.
Who inspired you growing up?
My mom inspired me. There were seven of us kids growing up and Mom was always busy. She worked, plus cooked cleaned, did laundry and kept all of us in sports and getting good grades in school. She was like wonder woman and I’m not sure she ever slept! She taught me the value of hard work and that if you are willing to put forth the effort and hard work you can accomplish whatever you set your mind too.
What do you like to do for fun on your free time?
I’m a mother of four young children now so I enjoy doing pretty much anything with my kids, but especially camping, hunting, fishing or being in the mountains. I coach my kids in sports and really enjoy that as well.
What is your highest personal and professional achievement?
My highest personal achievement is ongoing. It’s balancing my work and personal life which can be very overwhelming. It’s so important to me to be committed to my job so that I’m covering all my required tasks well and still be there for my family. Finding that healthy balance is something that has taken me time to do and I am proud to say I feel as though I am doing a decent job at it.
Professionally one of my greatest achievements involved getting called to go to a remote area of the forest and assist a rural Sheriff’s office in a man hunt for a suspected kidnapper. While completing our assigned tasks in the overnight hours, two of my fellow law enforcement officers and I, got to arrest the suspect. The suspect has since pled guilty to murder.
What are your future career goals?
What are your future career goals?
I really enjoy writing and investigating cases, so my ultimate goal with this agency is to become a special agent one day. I enjoy my job a lot now, but in the future it would be nice to do something new and challenging.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to serve their country as a Forest Service employee?
This is an amazing job and agency to work for. If you don’t get hired the first time you put in for a job, don’t give up. Ask to do ride alongs with Forest Service law enforcement officers or sign up to be a volunteer. This can be a hard job to get into, but if it’s something you really want don’t be afraid to make sacrifices to get the job.