Oregon ranger to head forest

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Northern Regional Forester Leslie Weldon has announced the two newest forest supervisors in Montana, one of them picked to head the Flathead National Forest.

Chip Weber will come to the Flathead Forest from a district ranger position on Oregon’s Willamette National Forest.

He will succeed Cathy Barbouletos, who is retiring in April after 12 years at the helm of Flathead Forest.

Julie King was picked as the new Bitterroot National Forest supervisor after working on the forest as deputy supervisor since 2008.

“Julie and Chip bring great leadership to the region,” Weldon said in a news release. “I am excited about the contributions they will make in leading these forest employees, to natural resource stewardship, and to building partnerships in their respective communities.”  

Weber is a 24-year Forest Service veteran who has worked as a district ranger on the Willamette and Tongass national forests and as a natural resource specialist on the Hoosier National Forest in Indiana and the Siskiyou, Rogue and Umpqua national forests in Oregon.

He has had other varied assignments, including Threatened and Endangered Species acting coordinator in the Eastern Region of the Forest Service, acting director of forest management in Alaska, and a Washington office headquarters assignment in budgeting.

He has a strong background in fire ecology and fire experience, including work on crews and engines and on Type I and II overhead teams.

Weber earned a bachelor’s degree in forest management from Oregon State University and a master’s degree in forest ecology and silviculture from the University of Washington. He and his wife, Susan, have two daughters.

He is scheduled to start work on the Flathead Forest in May.

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