The U.S. Forest Service has named a new regional forester for the Pacific Northwest covering Oregon and Washington.
Glenn Casamassa, a longtime Forest Service employee and former supervisor of the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests and the Pawnee National Grassland in Colorado, will take over Sept. 17 at the Portland office. He succeeds Jim Pena, who retired July 3.
Casamassa is a 30-year veteran of the Forest Service. As the regional forester, he will oversee 16 national forests, two national scenic areas, the Crooked River National Grassland in Oregon and two national volcanic monuments.
In a statement released by the Forest Service, Casamassa said he is committed to working with agency employees, tribes and local communities to share stewardship of public lands across the two states.
“Being good neighbors and setting a standard of excellence for public and customer service are priorities for the region in working alongside the people who care for, value, and depend upon these lands,” Casamassa said.
Casamassa earned his bachelor’s degree in forest ecology from Utah State University, and completed post-graduate work in logging system engineering at the Oregon State University College of Forestry. He began his career as a forestry technician, working as a seasonal firefighter on the Tonto National Forest in Arizona.
Casamassa landed his first permanent job on the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, and from there went to work on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah. He has also served as district ranger of the Moab and Monticello ranger districts on the Manti-La Sal National Forest, and was the regional environmental coordinator for the Forest Service Intermountain Region, spanning portions of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada.
Casamassa also worked as a legislative affairs specialist at the agency’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. Forest Service Interim Chief Vicki Christiansen said Casamassa has played a leading role in reforming regulations at the national level, and brings with him “tremendous land management and conservation leadership experiences.”
Jerome Rosa, executive director of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, said he is looking forward to working with Casamassa to address outstanding issues — namely livestock and grazing guidelines — in the final draft of the Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision, which sets goals and desired conditions for 5.5 million acres in the Umatilla, Wallowa-Whitman and Malheur national forests in Eastern Oregon.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to work with him,” Rosa said.
Dianne Guidry, who has served as the acting regional forester since Pena retired in July, will resume her role as deputy regional forester after Casamassa arrives.