Forest supervisor retires after long stints in Arizona, Utah

July 31, 2022 GMT

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Coconino National Forest Supervisor Laura Jo West has retired after 33 years of serving in the U.S. Forest Service.

Deputy Forest Supervisor Michelle Paduani will be the acting forest supervisor as the Southwestern Regional Office searches for a replacement for West, who officially retired Saturday.

A temporary forest supervisor will likely be assigned by the end of August until a permanent replacement is found.

West’s lengthy career began in northeast Utah in 1989 on the Ashley National Forest.

She later worked on central Arizona’s Prescott National Forest, Colville National Forest in northeast Washington state and many temporary detail assignments in regional and federal offices.

West became Coconino National Forest Supervisor in July 2015.

She plans to stay in the Flagstaff area for the foreseeable future and said she looks forward to staying involved in the community.