OGDEN -- The Ogden Ranger District has a new district ranger after nearly nine months of vacancy.
Renee Flanagan, 43, is moving to the Ogden job from her previous assignment as assistant forest engineer for the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. She has been working as an engineer for the Forest Service in Utah since 1993.
The previous ranger, Robbin Redman, left earlier this year after more than a year in the position to take a new job in the Forest Service's regional office in Ogden. She, in turn, replaced Chip Sibbernsen, who was appointed to the position after helping steer the district through the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and left in 2010 for medical reasons.
Flanagan said Monday that she has been on the job only a month and is still getting to know the district's unique problems and issues.
"I definitely want to continue on with the Forest Service mission," she said. "I'm a true believer in maintaining a public access to Forest Service lands."
She said she's got a lot to learn, because of the Ogden Ranger District's key position as one of the busiest recreational areas in the state.
The district is 170,000 acres of the much larger Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and extends across Davis, Weber, Box Elder and Cache counties. The Forest Service administers public lands that make up most of Snowbasin ski resort, Pineview Reservoir, Monte Cristo and large areas of camping and off-road vehicle areas in Box Elder and Cache counties.
A key part of the Ranger District job is to supervise maintenance of extensive camping, off-road vehicle areas, wilderness areas and public lands that are used for commercial recreation, such as skiing.
To help her do that, she said she's scheduling meetings with Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell, the Weber and Box Elder county commissions and anyone else she can think of to get a feel for how the district can better work with local entities.
A big part of her immediate duties will be implementing a new travel plan for the district. The plan, which regulates off-road vehicle use of trails and roads in the public lands the Forest Service administers has been in the works for at least six years, including being successfully appealed by advocacy groups.
She said: "We have to go back out and address the concerns that were settled in litigation."