SPARKS — Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor Jeanne Higgins announced today that JoEllen Keil has been selected as the new Deputy Forest Supervisor in Sparks, Nevada. Keil is no stranger to Nevada and the Eastern Sierra; she began her career on the Inyo National Forest, before spending time in Carson City and in Elko, from 1978 to 1980.
As the new Deputy Forest Supervisor, Keil, along with Higgins, will be responsible for overseeing the administration of 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 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 public services and needs that promote sound land stewardship.
“JoEllen’s impressive work history in the Forest Service and her outstanding interpersonal skills will help the Humboldt-Toiyabe continue to make progress on resolving difficult issues,” said Higgins. “JoEllen’s solid understanding of all of the resource areas will be a boost for our managers and employees,” said Higgins.
“I am delighted and anxious to be coming back to Nevada and the Eastern Sierra,” said Keil. “I feel my extensive experience in the West and my recent experience in Washington, DC, have prepared me for this assignment on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest,” said Keil.
“Ron, my husband, and I look forward to reacquainting ourselves with Nevada and Eastern California,” said Keil. “We have two sons, Bryce, 22, and Brandon, 16; we have lived in a number of Nevada communities, including Reno and Elko,” said Keil. Her hobbies and interests include downhill and cross-country skiing, bicycling, camping, hiking, and golf.
Keil is currently an Appeals Specialist in the Appeals and Litigation Staff at the Forest Service National Headquarters in Washington, DC. She provides staff support and technical assistance to the Chief and Deputy Chief for the National Forest System for administrative reviews of land and resource management plans, as well as individual project decisions (recreation and lands special uses, minerals, grazing, etc.).
Keil began her career as a summer employee in recreation and wilderness on the Inyo National Forest from 1973-1977. She then worked on the Toiyabe National Forest on the Carson Ranger District in 1978, before working for a year for the Bureau of Land Management in Elko, Nevada, from 1979 to 1980. After Nevada, Keil worked in timber preparation and resources on the Klamath National Forest for nine years in northern California. She served as a District Ranger for 12 years, as well as 5 years as the Recreation, Lands and Engineering Staff Officer on the Inyo National Forest in Bishop, California. She has also worked extensively in a number of fire positions for most of her career.
Keil is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Renewable Natural Resources (forestry major and range management minor) in 1977. She studied logging engineering at Humboldt State University in 1981. Keil was raised in Bishop, California, in the Eastern Sierra.
Learn more about this release by calling the Forest Supervisor, Jeanne Higgins, at 775-355-5304, or Forest Public Affairs Officer, Christie Kalkowski, at 775-355-5311.