“I am thrilled to announce the selection of Mike Williams as the new Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest Supervisor,” said Jim Peña, Pacific Northwest Regional Forester. “Mike is a proven leader and he brings an extensive set of skills and experience to the Northwest spanning fire ecology, restoration and natural resource management. His experience in community relations and collaboration will be a great asset to the forest and region.”
Williams became Forest Supervisor of the Kaibab National Forest in 2001 and has since worked diligently on improving forest health and restoring fire-adapted ecosystems through efforts such as the Four Forest Restoration Initiative and reintroducing fire on a landscape scale. Williams has worked for the Forest Service for more than 30 years and has served in many leadership roles throughout the agency. During that time, he has maintained a commitment to community relations and collaboration as key elements in achieving results on the ground.
“I started my permanent Forest Service career in the Pacific Northwest and am really excited to return,” Williams said. “At the same time, it is with great sadness that I leave the Kaibab National Forest and its employees and partners. We have set the stage for an unprecedented scope and scale of forest management work in northern Arizona in the coming years, and I expect that important work to continue. I am proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish through a commitment to shared stewardship of our public lands.”
Williams is a native of southern Minnesota and grew up in a small agricultural town north of the Iowa border. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree in forest resource management from the University of Minnesota College of Forestry. His first permanent job with the Forest Service was on the Siuslaw National Forest on the Oregon coast in 1977. Subsequent jobs took him to northern California and assignments on the Klamath, Plumas and Lassen national forests. He was a district ranger on two forests in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains for more than a dozen years and also served on the forest management staff at Forest Service national headquarters.
Williams will report to his new assignment next month.