The USDA Forest Service Southwestern Region welcomes Shaun Sanchez, who has been selected as Forest Supervisor of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF). Sanchez comes from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where he was the Deputy Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
In his new role, he will oversee the management, conservation and enhancement of 1.6 million forested acres across six counties in the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountain ranges.
“Shaun’s experience and expertise will be an asset to the forest,” says Southwestern Regional Forester Michiko Martin. “His commitment to community engagement will provide a smooth transition as we continue our collaborative restoration efforts with partners and local communities.”
Not a stranger to New Mexico, Sanchez grew up in Las Vegas, NM, and has spent a lot of time on the SFNF. In 2001 he graduated from New Mexico Highlands University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and his entire professional career spans across the country from Alaska to Washington, DC. Sanchez says that for years he and his family had been thinking about returning home to New Mexico, but it had only been a thought until last year. Shaun has led natural resource partners through disasters and recovery efforts, including Hurricane Ike. Sanchez stated, “As I prepare for my role as Forest Supervisor, I’ve thought a lot about the long-term impacts to the community and to the resources resulting from Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon and how we can work together toward recovery.” He is looking forward to supporting the mission to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the SFNF to meet the needs of present and future generations.
Sanchez begins his new job on Monday, Feb. 6, as Acting Forest Supervisor James Duran returns to his duty as Forest Supervisor of the Carson National Forest. “We appreciate James stepping in to provide leadership over both the Carson and Santa Fe during an extremely challenging period,” Southwestern Regional Forester Michiko Martin stated. Duran shared, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve, and I’m excited to work alongside Mr. Sanchez to provide continued Forest Service support in northern New Mexico.”