The Bridger-Teton National Forest will be lacking its top employee through the fall and early winter, as Tricia O’Connor heads to Colorado for a detail.
Starting Oct. 19 and extending into January or potentially later, O’Connor will be working as the acting regional forester calling the shots for the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Region, which encompasses 22 million acres of national forests and grasslands in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.
“It’s kind of like last year, but a different place,” O’Connor told the Jackson Hole Daily. “They need help, and I agreed to do it. It’s short term, and I’ll be back.”
O’Connor, a 32-year Forest Service veteran, was detailed for a good chunk of 2019 to the agency’s Intermountain Region in Ogden, Utah, where she took on the deputy forester role, a second-in-command job overseeing the region where the Bridger-Teton is located.
In O’Connor’s stead, the Forest Service has appointed Chad Hudson, deputy supervisor of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
“He actually worked on the Bridger-Teton and lived in Jackson, so he’s familiar with this forest,” O’Connor said. “And he’s got a strong background — I think he’ll do a great job.”