US Forest Service names Carson National Forest Supervisor James Duran as Santa Fe National Forest's acting forest supervisor for next four months while Santa Fe's Forest Supervisor Debbie Cress takes on temporary assignment

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SANTA FE, New Mexico , July 18, 2022 (press release) –

Southwestern Regional Forester Michiko Martin announced today the selection of Carson National Forest (NF) Supervisor James Duran to lead the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) as acting Forest Supervisor for the next four months while the Santa Fe’s Forest Supervisor Debbie Cress takes on a temporary assignment as acting Deputy Chief of Staff in the Washington office of Forest Service Chief Randy Moore.

Duran will continue in his permanent role as Forest Supervisor of the Carson as he leads the two northern New Mexico national forests. Both Cress and Duran begin their temporary assignments on Monday, July 11. SFNF Deputy Forest Supervisor Beth Ihle will continue to provide leadership support to the SFNF, and the Southwestern Region expects to name an acting Deputy Forest Supervisor to support the Carson NF.

“As a native New Mexican and Forest Supervisor on the Carson National Forest since 2014, James has a deep commitment to our northern New Mexico communities,” Martin said. “His extensive experience and dedicated focus on ensuring the Forest Service works closely with local communities exemplify why James is uniquely qualified for continuing the important post-fire efforts that lie ahead for the Santa Fe and Carson National Forests.”

During Duran’s tenure as Forest Supervisor, the Carson NF has invested in local community relationships by improving stakeholder access and working with local and state partners to restore ecosystems in and around the forest.

Also a native New Mexican, Cress took the helm of the SFNF as Forest Supervisor in April 2021 after serving as the Deputy Forest Supervisor. During her detail as acting Deputy Chief of Staff for the Forest Service, she will work with Chief of Staff Tony Scardina in an advisory role to Chief Moore and Associate Chief Angela Coleman.

Acknowledging the difficult timing of this opportunity as northern New Mexico continues to deal with the aftermath of the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires, Cress said, “Working with multiple partners at the local, state and federal levels, we have a unified commitment to post-fire repair and healing of the landscape while meeting the needs of our communities for firewood, acequia repair, reseeding and eventual replanting. I know James will continue that important work and provide sound leadership for the Santa Fe National Forest during my absence.”

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