Routt National Forest district ranger steps down

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— After 13 years as district ranger for the Routt National Forest, Sherry Reed has stepped down from her position to work in information services for the Forest Service.

Looking back over her career, Reed said the good condition and productivity of the Routt National Forest is a result of a diverse public becoming active in protecting their land.

"It's been exciting to see a relatively apathetic public awaken and become interested in their public lands," Reed said.

Fifteen or 20 years ago, the Forest Service managed public lands by telling people the "right way" to do things, instead of listening to public opinion.

Reed said she was fortunate to be the district ranger at a time when the Forest Service began to listen to ideas about what is best for the land.

That led the Forest Service to adopt management techniques based on maintaining and improving the health of the forest a concept right up Reed's alley.

"Keeping a healthy landscape that's a value of mine that I've taken to work," she said.

Reed started her career in the U.S. Forest Service as a wildlife biologist, spending eight years in that position in Lake Tahoe and four in Routt National Forest.

Her job as a biologist was to make sure that Forest Service projects weren't harming the habitat of animals in the forest.

"I, personally, have my own value system, and that didn't belong at work," she said. With the variety of uses in the forest came the responsibility of respecting everyone's vision of the forest and not judging how other people viewed the uses.

Right now, the Routt National Forest balances, among other things, logging, livestock grazing, oil wells,

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