FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Fire Season terminated October 16, 2017. Regulated Closure terminated October 3.
MH1 and MH4 IFPL: IFPL Terminated as of October 16, 2017.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Oregon Department of Forestry selects Mike Shaw as new Central Oregon District Forester


Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has selected Mike Shaw as the new District Forester for the Central Oregon District (COD).  Shaw replaces George Ponte who recently retired after more than seven years as District Forester and 26 years with the Department.  COD provides wildfire protection and administers the Forest Practices Act on approximately 2.2 million acres of private and non-federal public land throughout eleven counties in Oregon.  As District Forester, Shaw will manage 35 permanent employees and 90 seasonal firefighters in offices in Prineville, Sisters, The Dalles, John Day, and Fossil.
Shaw has been with ODF for sixteen years, starting as a Forest Practices Forester in the Toledo Unit of the West Oregon District.  He served in a similar position in Wallowa, prior to promoting to Unit Forester for the Wallowa Unit.  In December of 2014 Shaw left northeast Oregon to work as ODF’s Eastern Oregon Assistant Area Director.  Shaw’s prior experience in both Protection and Private Forests Divisions and in various locations within the agency will provide a good foundation as he assumes his leadership role in the Central Oregon District.  In addition to his experience in these positions Shaw has served on ODF’s Incident Management Team 1 as Situation Unit Leader and as Planning Section Chief.  Shaw is a graduate of Oregon State University, holding a bachelor’s degree in Forest Management.

The interview committee chose Mike Shaw from a pool of qualified candidates based on experience and answers to interview questions.  Candidates were interviewed by a panel of Central Oregon District employees and a diverse panel comprised of local stakeholders, agency cooperators, ODF administrators and Travis Medema, ODF’s Eastern Oregon Area Director.  “I am really looking forward to working with a great group of employees and furthering the mission of ODF in Central Oregon”, states Shaw.  “The past three fire seasons have been particularly challenging and I am excited for the opportunities these challenges may afford as we move into the future.”  Mike has made his home in central Oregon with his wife and children, where they are integrating into the community and exploring the area.  Shaw is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys skiing with his family during the winter.
George Ponte worked in various positions around the state prior to becoming the COD District Forester, he started his career in the Western Lane District.  Before working for ODF Ponte spent a couple fire seasons working for the Douglas Forest Protective Association (partner agency to ODF) and some time with the US Forest Service.  George held positions as Stewardship Forester, Unit Forester, and Assistant Area Director and in positions on ODF’s Incident Management Teams.  Since 1996 George and his wife Michelle, whom he met while working at Western Lane, have called central Oregon home.  Significant fire activity in central Oregon has kept Ponte busy for the last several years, this upcoming summer he is looking forward to watching thunderstorms from his deck with his wife without the worries of how many fires are starting.  However, he has assured COD employees that we will see him from time to time.

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