PORTLAND — The U.S. Forest Service has named a new forest supervisor for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in northeast Oregon. 

Shaun McKinney will take over the position in late October. He replaces Tom Montoya, who retired in June after 36 years with the agency. 

McKinney comes to the Forest Service from the West National Technology Support Center in Portland, where he led a team providing direct assistance and training to USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service staff throughout the western U.S. 

In a statement, Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa said MicKinney brings experience working in both public and private land conservation.

"His considerable experience in organizational leadership, science-based decision-making and innovative problem-solving will serve him well as he serves the residents and communities of Eastern Oregon as forest supervisor on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest," Casamassa said. 

As director of the support center, McKinney and his team developed innovative technical solutions for field staff and scientists working on complex natural resources issues. 

McKinney also served temporarily as acting director of the agency's Natural Science Division, and as acting deputy chief for science and technology. 

For McKinney, joining the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest marks his return to the Forest Service, where he started his career as a biologist on the Umatilla and Siuslaw national forests in Oregon. 

McKinney, who has a master's degree in fisheries science and statistics from Oregon State University, has also worked as an aquatic analyst at the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station in Corvallis, Ore. 

"I'm looking forward to returning to the Blue Mountains, where I began my career, to work together with the staff, communities and partners on healthy ecosystems and economies," McKinney said. "It will be an exciting next chapter filled with challenges and opportunities." 

The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest encompasses 2.4 million acres primarily in northeast Oregon. A small portion of the forest also extends into western Idaho.

The forest is home to 10 Wild and Scenic Rivers, four wilderness areas and the Hells Canyon Recreation Area. Ecosystems range from alpine peaks to conifer forests, high desert rangeland, grasslands and watersheds. 

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