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Jeanne Higgins selected as US Forest Service Humboldt-Toiyabe forest supervisor



SPARKS — Intermountain Regional Forester Harv Forsgren announced today that Jeanne Higgins has been selected as the Forest Supervisor for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

As the new Forest Supervisor of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest or H-T, Higgins will manage the largest National Forest in the lower 48 states.  The Humboldt-Toiyabe’s 6.3 million acres encompasses most of Nevada, a portion of some of the most scenic areas of the Eastern Sierra in California, and is comprised of 10 ranger districts. The Forest faces many complex resource and social issues, while carefully balancing important public services and needs that promote sound land stewardship.

“Jeanne’s broad experience and the high caliber of her work make her the perfect choice for dealing with difficult issues, working with community members and ensuring the sustainability of resources on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest,” said Forsgren.  “Jeanne’s high energy and commitment to work with people who hold divergent points of view will serve her and the Humboldt-Toiyabe well. Her skills in working with diverse interest groups will be essential to her success on the Forest.”

Higgins is currently the Forest Supervisor on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin. One of her most successful projects during her time in this position has been her work on forest health issues facing federal, state and private forests. Collaborating with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Higgins was instrumental in bringing partners together to work across administrative boundaries and uniting agencies in a common goal of managing the northern forests.

“I am excited about the opportunity to work in the beautiful Nevada landscapes the Forest Service manages,” said Higgins.  “I want to help the community reconnect with their forest and recognize the importance the forest plays in their lives. By increasing their understanding of the forest impact, I hope they will take part in the many opportunities the forest has to offer.”

Higgins began her career with the Forest Service in 1988, and has been employed with the Forest Service ever since in various positions. She has a well-rounded background, having worked in four different regions on many Forests and districts. Of her nearly 22 years, 10 of them have been in Line Officer positions. Higgins holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Forest Resources Management from the University of Idaho.

Higgins has extensive fire experience that will come in handy in Nevada, a state that has seen many large fires in recent years. She currently serves on the Governing Board of the Joint Fire Sciences Program, a federal board comprised of Department of Interior and Forest Service land managers and scientists.  Recently the Joint Fire Sciences Program has focused on the social and ecological impacts of fire in the Great Basin, specifically looking at cheat grass invasion and the effects of fire on sage grouse habitat.

Higgins replaces Ed Monnig who retired from the Forest Service in 2009.  Higgins and her husband, Bruce, will report to Sparks, Nevada in early March. She has two grown daughters, both of whom live in the West. Jeanne and Bruce, who is also a Forest Service employee, look forward to exploring the area and enjoying the recreational activities in Nevada and the Sierra Nevada Mountains, such as hiking, camping, biking and skiing.

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