Kurt Steele, Flathead National Forest Supervisor has moved to a position with Region 1 Forest Headquarters. In the meantime, Deputy Flathead Forest Supervisor Tami McKenzie is holding the fort . . .
Flathead National Forest Supervisor Kurt Steele has accepted a new position at the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Region headquarters in Missoula, capping a three-and-a-half-year stint overseeing 2.4 million forested acres in northwest Montana that in the past year had become beset in controversy.
According to an agency spokesperson, Steele “was offered and accepted” a new post as deputy director at the regional office that involves “environmental planning,” although the details of the position are still being worked out.
“I think it’s just a lateral move to a position at the regional office level,” Dan Hottle, the federal agency’s northern region public information officer, said Friday afternoon, when details about the transition were still scant. “It’s a new role and he will work closely with the regional leadership team on a number of different projects across the region as deputy director. His start date is still being negotiated right now.”
Kurt Steele, Chip Weber’s replacement as forest supervisor takes over in mid-February.
From the press release . . .
Kurt Steele has been named forest supervisor for Flathead National Forest. He’s expected to begin work in mid-February. Steele has been the deputy forest supervisor for the Nez-Perce Clearwater National Forests for the past three years.
“I am very pleased to welcome Kurt to the Flathead National Forest,” said Regional Forester Leanne Marten. “Kurt is a proven leader who welcomes new voices and diverse perspectives, and has dedicated his career to public service.”
In addition to his current service as deputy forest supervisor, Steele has completed three recent temporary forest supervisor assignments on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest in Idaho, the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana, and the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Illinois. Prior to his current position on the Nez Perce-Clearwater, Steele served as a district ranger on the Superior National Forest in Minnesota.
“I am tremendously honored to serve the public and forest employees as Flathead National Forest’s new supervisor,” said Steele. “I look forward to engaging with our partners, local businesses, and surrounding communities as we write the forest’s next chapter together. The Flathead Valley is an incredibly special place, and my family and I are excited about the opportunity to be able to settle in here and raise our family in this welcoming, community-oriented area.”