Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sawtooth Forest head to step down

Kollmeyer to retire in Montana

Express Staff Writer

Jane Kollmeyer will be stepping down from her position as Sawtooth National Forest supervisor on April 2, forest spokeswoman Julie Thomas confirmed this week.

Thomas said Kollmeyer is in the process of moving back to Helena, Mont., where she will retire with her husband, Terry.

Continuing a 30-year career with the Forest Service, Kollmeyer took over as head of the Sawtooth National Forest in January 2007. Prior to that, she had been deputy forest supervisor of the Helena National Forest in Montana.

Kollmeyer had worked for the Forest Service in nine forests in five regions, including taking the position of deputy district ranger of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest in Wallace, Idaho, in 1990.

Other positions included acting forest supervisor on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest in Coeur d'Alene.

During her three years as head of the Sawtooth National Forest, Kollmeyer was involved in combating the 2007 Castle Rock Fire, as well as a decision to not allow a cell phone tower on Galena Summit, north of Ketchum.

The latter issue was controversial, with many area residents arguing that a cell tower would improve safety along a stretch of road known for car accidents and in a popular backcountry skiing area prone to avalanches.

Thomas said an acting forest supervisor would be named by Friday, but that it could take four to five months to find a full-time replacement.

The supervisor is responsible for the management of the 2.1 million-acre Sawtooth National Forest, which stretches from the Raft River Division in northern Utah to Stanley and the Salmon River north of Ketchum. The 756,000-acre Sawtooth National Recreation Area is also a part of the forest.

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