Tom Contreras took the position of Supervisor of the Angeles National Forest in August 2011. Already he’s making an impact, and a very positive one at that.
Tom started his career in 1976 in Utah, and has worked in National Forests all over the western states. He served as the Winter Sports Specialist for the Intermountain Region, where he oversaw ski areas. His most recent post was supervisor of Mendocino National Forest. His hands-on approach is refreshing and welcomed.
At the first Forest Service Volunteer meeting he attended, he was overwhelmed by the number of people present. Forty-one volunteers, representing many different volunteer groups welcomed him at that meeting. “It was far above my expectations for a volunteer meeting,” he said. He asked to be invited to visit and work with each group. Today, April 6, 2012, we took him up on that offer.
Mike and Robin McGuire of the Angeles Mountain Patrol, Jim Hasenauer of IMBA/CORBA, and CORBA board member Steve Messer of joined Tom for a ride up Brown Mountain to the saddle. Along the way we were caught by Banner Moffatt of the Friends of El Prieto. Banner was prepping for tomorrow’s trailwork on Upper Brown Mountain. Tom is still learning the forest, and though he’s seen most of it from the air, there’s nothing like getting out on the trails on a bicycle.
Already the impact he’s having on the Forest is visible through his direct engagement with the volunteer groups. He can see the passion the many volunteer groups have for the mountains and the trails, and his passion is equally evident. He brings a new sense of urgency and passion to solving the many problems faced by the forest, and we are confident the forest is in good hands.
We look forward to working with Supervisor Tom as we continue to restore and maintain trails within the Angeles National Forest for the enjoyment of all.