Ketelle briefly leaving mountains to try Forest Service life in big city |

Ketelle briefly leaving mountains to try Forest Service life in big city

White River National Forest Supervisor Martha Ketelle is making a three-month job switch with the top recreation official in the Forest Service’s regional office in Denver.

Starting today, Ketelle will work for three months as the acting director of recreation for the Rocky Mountain region, which includes forests in Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota and part of Wyoming.

She will oversee planning for recreation, wilderness and what the agency calls “heritage resources,” which are historic archaeological and cultural sites.

In exchange, Steve Deitemeyer, the current director of recreation for the Rocky Mountain region, will come to Glenwood Springs and work as the acting forest supervisor.

The job swap is aimed at giving top Forest Service officials a chance to experience each other’s work assignments, Ketelle said.

For Ketelle, it will be her first opportunity to work in a regional office.

For Deitemeyer, it will be a chance to get out in the field after a decade of working in Washington and Denver. He was previously the supervisor for the Rogue River National Forest in Oregon.

Ketelle said such temporary job swaps are common in the Forest Service.

Deitemeyer comes to the White River as the controversial forest plan process reaches a conclusion, and as the travel management plan process gets started.

“He will kick off the public involvement process for travel management,” said Ketelle. (Please see story, page 1.)

The planning process will evaluate continued use of national forest roads and trails by motorized and non-motorized users, and will continue for about a year.

Ketelle said she will be back on the job as the White River supervisor in December.

She has worked in that capacity since August 1997, after transferring from her previous post as supervisor of the Six Rivers National Forest in northern California.

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