TUSAYAN, Ariz. - Kaibab National Forest has appointed James Simino as the Tusayan District Ranger. The previous district ranger, Nick Larson, left the position in late May.
As district ranger, Simino is responsible for everything that happens on the district, including working with the public, overseeing work and supervising Forest Service employees.
Simino started on Jan. 6 and is quickly adjusting to his new life in Tusayan.
"I have a lot of people to meet and a lot of people want to meet me," Simino said. "I like it. I like the job, I like the people and I'm looking forward to working with everyone."
In the first few weeks, Simino said he's dealt with prescribed fires and getting up to speed on the Travel Management Rule. The Forest Service is revisiting a 2011 federal rule that requires all national forests and grasslands to designate a system of roads, trails and areas for motorized use and to prohibit all motor vehicle use off the designated system.
"In my opinion, this job is really one of the best within the agency, where a lot of the on the ground work happens, so I get to be a part of that as well as being part of the community. I really enjoy that aspect of it," Simino said.
Simino comes to the Kaibab National Forest from the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southwestern Oregon, where he served as the district fisheries biologist.
Simino began his federal career in 1997 with the Eugene District of the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon. Since then, he has worked for the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station, Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, the Willamette National Forest in Oregon, the White Mountains National Forest in New Hampshire and the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico.
Simino grew up in Westmoreland, N.H, a small, rural town on the border of Vermont, and has a bachelor's degree in environmental studies from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. He is one class shy of earning a second bachelor's degree in fisheries and wildlife management at Oregon State.
In his free time, Simino enjoys camping, fishing, hunting, spending time with his family and rooting for his favorite sports teams.