Mark Hatcher, Range Conservationist on the Gunnison Ranger District, retired after 35 years of federal service. He started his career with the Bureau of Land Management and transferred to the Forest Service’s Little Missouri National Grasslands after 3 years. He has worked on the GMUG NFs for the past 24 years leading the range program for the District and working in fire management. Mr. Hatcher is a Deputy Incident Commander in wildland fire and will continue to serve in that capacity with the West Metro Fire and Rescue Department in his retirement. He is proud of the work he did and the achievements he accomplished in his tenure, including assisting with the reintroduction of moose and Canada lynx and his work with, “a lot of good folks and good memories over the past 24 years.” He hopes to do more skiing and hockey and “play more” in his free time.
Leigh Ann Hunt retired as the Forest Archaeologist after 34 years of federal service. She worked on the GMUG for the past 14 years, after previously working in Utah, California and Nevada. She plans to stay in the Delta area and to continue to work on historic projects that “peak her interest.” In looking back on her accomplishments, Ms. Hunt is most proud of her work to stabilize historic structures, including the Trout Lake Trestle, Fairview Lookout (near Pitkin), Pie Plant Cabins (above Taylor Park) and the Neosho Mine (above Ouray) and her work with the public and partners on digs, surveys and Passport in Time projects. In retirement, she hopes to have more time for camping, playing and spending time with family and friends in addition to more archaeological work.
Barry Johnston, Forest Botanist working out of the Gunnison Ranger District, retired after 39.5 years of federal service. His work included serving in the Southwest Regional Office (Albuquerque, NM) and the Rocky Mountain Regional Office (Denver, CO) and then out of the Gunnison Service Center and Ranger District. He has worked on the GMUG for the past 25 years and his proud accomplishments include researching and publishing papers on: Ecological Types of the Upper Gunnison Basin (2001); Fen Inventory of the GMUG (2012); and Fire Effects Study of the West Side of the Uncompahgre Plateau (2006-2012). In retirement, Mr. Johnston plans to do more work with his church, more singing, travelling to visit family, home repairs, field botany and perhaps write a book or two.
Linda Schmidt has been a dedicated and helpful employee on the GMUG for 27.5 years and providing public service in the federal government for 34.5 years. Her work background includes working for Housing and Urban Development, as an archaeological illustrator and work as a cartographer in Forest Planning. She retired as the Property Management Specialist for the GMUG in January. During her career, she provided a variety of support and expertise to the Forest and served on several details to other Forest Service Regions to train and audit property management specialists and to establish national protocols. One of which was following “9/1” to Washington D.C. which she described as very enlightening and interesting in the aftermath. In retirement, she hopes to get back into her artwork, spend more time with family, travel and be more active in church activities.