Forest Leader: Thank You, WTA Community, for Your Warm Welcome
The new regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Region looks forward to working with the WTA community to care for trails.
I’m pleased to hand over this blog entry to guest contributor Glenn Casamassa, who recently became the regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Region. He’s in charge of all national forests in Washington and Oregon, and he wants to thank YOU — the WTA community — for welcoming him to his new role with thousands of postcards making it clear we love our national forests and care about trails and outdoor recreation. WTA believes in the power of hikers, and the letter below shows us that people take notice when we speak up together.
—Jill Simmons, WTA executive director
Dear Washington Trails Association community:
I was truly moved by the warm welcome I received when I arrived to serve as Regional Forester for the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Region in September. I have always known that the people and public lands of the Pacific Northwest are special. Still, I was awed and humbled to receive thousands of individually-signed postcards from the Washington Trails Association community expressing your love of the land and trails.
I want you to know that I share your passion, your commitment to service, and your expectation for excellent experiences when recreating in our National Forests. I greatly appreciate your commitment to volunteerism, which is critical to our shared stewardship of these lands. Like you, I know from experience that spending time in nature is good for the heart, mind and body; and that everyone deserves access to the great outdoors. Therefore, I am especially interested in the work you are doing to connect diverse communities to the special places we are entrusted to manage and conserve. These efforts help to inspire the next generation of public lands stewards.
I understand Washington Trails Association is engaged in implementing our National Trails Strategy. By working together and in partnership with others in the trail stewardship community, I am confident we will make significant progress towards an improved, sustainable trails system in the Pacific Northwest Region.
Thank you for your dedication, passion, commitment and kindness. I look forward to a productive partnership.
Glenn P. Casamassa