Coconino National Forest recently hosted Southwestern Regional Forester Calvin Joyner, Acting Deputy Regional Forester Steven Hattenbach, and Chief of Staff Rita Skinner. The executive team made the rounds to each district to visit employees and learn about different projects across the forest.
The team then helped district personnel and forest leadership build log fences to protect meadows in Long Valley, which is a popular area for campers and recreational visitors during summer months. The following days, the team met with personnel at the Red Rock and Flagstaff ranger districts, where they experienced a scientific vortex tour in Sedona and met with volunteers, partners and tribal leaders to discuss challenging issues across each district.
They started their visit on the Mogollon Rim Ranger District at a breakfast gathering with the Blue Ridge Hotshot crew and district personnel, followed by a question and answer session about hiring and Life First.
Their visit also took them to C.C. Cragin Reservoir to view and discuss the Cragin Watershed Protection Project—a project that will use thinning and prescribed burning to protect the reservoir so the town of Payson can use it for drinking water in the future. They were joined by partners from Payson and the Salt River Project, who were able to discuss the project, as well as challenges that have been overcome in the last several years.
Topics included aspen restoration, the recovery of the Schultz Fire burn area, snowplay issues, graffiti mitigation efforts, field challenges faced by employees and the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. The visit was a resounding success and gave Coconino National Forest employees and partners a chance to meet with the Regional Forester face to face.