Kootenai Forest Supervisor to Retire

By Beacon Staff

Paul Bradford, the forest supervisor for the Kootenai National Forest since 2006, has announced his retirement. Pam Gardner, the deputy forest supervisor for the Custer and Gallatin National Forests, will serve as the acting forest supervisor until a permanent hire is made later this year, officials said.

Starting his career as a forestry technician on the Murphy Lake and Rexford Ranger Districts in the late 1970s, Bradford’s career with the Forest Service now ends on the same forest where he began. Born and raised in Ohio, Bradford’s time with the Forest Service has taken him all over the country including Alaska, Oregon, California, Arizona, Michigan and Washington D.C.

“I’m incredibly thankful for the amount of time I’ve been able to spend in northwest Montana during my career,” said Bradford. “I’m especially proud of all of the work we’ve been able to accomplish through the help of everyone in the community and our hard-working employees of the Kootenai National Forest.”

The Kootenai National Forest is in the process of revising its land management plan.

During his time as forest supervisor, Bradford led an active Resource Advisory Committee that has directed nearly $5.5 million into the local community, oversaw spending of $18 million on important forest projects through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, directed forest plan revision efforts, and joined the Idaho Panhandle and Lolo National Forests in the analysis and decision on Motorized Access Management within the Selkirk and Cabinet-Yaak Grizzly Bear Recovery Zones, also known as the “Grizzly Bear Access Amendment.”

“Paul has provided tremendous leadership that goes far beyond the boundaries of the Kootenai National Forest,” said Faye Krueger, regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service Northern Region. “His partnership efforts with the Kootenai Forest Stakeholders Coalition and his commitment to employee safety have been recognized as shining examples of his hard work in the Northern Region of the Forest Service.”

Gardner will take over as the acting forest supervisor Feb. 11.

“During my two years in Montana, I’ve enjoyed southeastern and central Montana landscapes,” said Gardner. “I’m looking forward to experiencing a new part of Montana and getting to know the Kootenai National Forest, its employees, and the communities we serve.”

Gardner has served in several line officer positions throughout her career. Over the past ten years she has served the role of deputy forest supervisor in Montana and district ranger in Oregon and Utah. Originally from Idaho, Gardner attended Boise State University where she received a BA in Communication Studies and has served the Rocky Mountain Region headquartered in Colorado and the Northern Great Plains Planning Team in Nebraska in this capacity, as a Public Affairs Officer.

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