New Wallowa-Whitman supervisor named

By Baker City Herald December 14, 2012 02:10 pm

The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest issued the following news release Friday afternoon:

PORTLAND –  A longtime research scientist who currently heads the Umatilla National Forest has been selected as Forest Supervisor for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in northeast Oregon.

John Laurence, acting Forest Supervisor on the Umatilla, will begin his new job Jan. 14

“John is an experienced manager, critical thinker, and capable champion of collaboration and partnerships,” said Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Kent Connaughton. “He has served as the Region’s Acting Director of Resource Planning and Monitoring, which has prepared him well to guide the Forest Plan Revision process and lead travel management planning on the Wallowa-Whitman.”

Laurence, 63, has served as Acting Supervisor of the Umatilla National Forest since August.  Laurence is filling in for Kevin Martin, who has been Acting Wallowa-Whitman Forest Supervisor.  Martin will return to his Supervisor’s job on the Umatilla.

Connaughton said Laurence’s planning experience has prepared him to work well with his peers and the workforce in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. His reputation as a science leader and mature manager of people precede him, Connaughton said.

Laurence began his Forest Service career in 2002 as a research scientist for the Pacific Northwest Research Station in Portland. He had worked 25 years as a research scientist at Cornell University in New York and three years with the Environmental Protection Agency in Corvallis. He has managed research projects in eastern Oregon and been responsible for the Station’s research office in La Grande, OR, the past three years.

“I’ve long been interested in the application of science to natural resource management and policy, and what better place to do it than with the Forest Service,” Laurence said, adding that he looking forward to the opportunity to work full-time in eastern Oregon.

Laurence and his wife Nancy, a writer, have three grown children. He enjoys photography and taking long, exploratory walks.