The Flathead National Forest on Monday announced that Anthony Botello will serve as its new forest supervisor overseeing 2.4 million acres of public land in northwest Montana.
Since April 2020, Botello has worked as the deputy forest supervisor for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in northeast Oregon. In his new role, he replaces Kurt Steele, who in June accepted a position at the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Region headquarters in Missoula, capping a three-and-a-half-year stint at the helm of the Flathead.
That put Deputy Forest Supervisor Tami MacKenzie in charge of the region’s forests until a successor to Steele could be found. On Nov. 20, the agency announced that Botello would likely begin his new role at the start of the new year.
According to a prepared statement, Botello said he is “honored to be joining the Flathead National Forest and the Northern Region.”
“The thought of helping steward the world class resources and landscapes on the Flathead and working with community and Tribal partners here is incredibly exciting,” he said in a prepared statement. “My family and I are eager to get to the Flathead Valley and join the Forest and the community.”
Botello began his Forest Service career in 1988 on the Sierra National Forest. While he’s spent the majority of his time with the Forest Service in central Idaho, he has also held positions in California, Oregon, Utah, and Montana. Botello has served in leadership roles for almost half of his 35-year career.
Starting as a wilderness ranger, Botello soon became a backcountry animal packer on the Rogue River National Forest, where he was also a snow ranger and permit administrator. That led to his role serving as part of a Forest Service Incident Management Team that hosted the 2002 Olympic Winter Games at Snowbasin Resort in Salt Lake City. He also spent several years as an active firefighter, a sawyer, a helicopter crew member, and a wildland fire crew boss.
Botello graduated from California State University (Chico State) with a Bachelor of Science in natural resource management, with an emphasis on recreation management. It was at Chico that he met his wife, Alexandra.
In Botello’s spare time he enjoys playing baseball, coaching, and officiating hockey, baseball, and softball. He says he looks forward to exploring northwest Montana’s hunting, fishing, and outdoor opportunities.
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