The U.S. Forest Service appointed Shane Jeffries to be the new supervisor of the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River Grasslands.
Jeffries, 48, originally from McCall, Idaho, is bringing many years of experience living and working in forests and other public lands — all 48 years of his life, he says.
“It’s always been a calling for me,” Jeffries said. “It’s an honor to have had a chance to have a career and raise a family in service to our public lands and communities that live in those lands. I have to pinch myself to make sure it’s real because I am just so happy to be here.”
Jeffries was previously the deputy supervisor of the Deschutes National Forest.
Born in McCall, Jeffries grew up in the “Boise-area playground,” he said. He spent much of his time hiking, fishing and hunting in the mountains and public lands near his home. His worked on a ranch when he was in high school as part of an internship with the Forest Service.
“I think it’s true for a lot of people that you connect and create a relationship with the land and place you live in,” Jeffries said. “For me, it was public land and open spaces. Being around ranching and farming and wilderness areas … logging, fishing and hunting just become part of who I am.”
After he graduated from the University of Idaho in 1987, he was employed full time with the Forest Service, and it has stuck ever since.
Jeffries was first introduced to Central Oregon in 1999, when he worked as a forest wildlife biologist. In 2005 he returned to his hometown to accept a position as a district ranger.
“It was neat to go back to my hometown as a district ranger — got to reconnect with old friends and work on a forest that I grew up in,” he said.
Three years later, Jeffries was back in Bend, where he worked as a district ranger for the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District until 2012.
He has spent the past five years as the deputy supervisor for the Deschutes National Forest, before his new appointment in January.
“It’s an honor to have been selected for this position,” Jeffries said. “I’m looking forward to getting settled in Prineville over the next several months and then years of developing that relationship with the communities in and around Ochoco (forest) and the Crooked River grasslands.”
Joe Stutler, a senior adviser for Deschutes County and former county forester, worked with Jeffries for nearly 15 years and said Jeffries has a knack for collaboration and wildland fire safety, as well as strong ethical values for public land use, he said.
“I was tickled,” Stutler said. “I don’t think they could have handpicked a better person for that job. I am happy for him.”
His ability to collaborate with surrounding communities combined with the many connections he has made will help guide him through his transition to Ochoco forest supervisor, he said.
“His Rolodex is already pretty full,” Stutler joked.
Jeffries is still adapting to his new role and new home. He and his wife of 25 years, Pam, are excited to get settled in Prineville, he said.
“There’s so much to learn,” Jeffries said. “There’s a lot to do and a lot of folks to visit with. There’s so much great work going on that gives you pride, and I look forward to getting know more folks in the community.”
— Reporter: 541-617-7829, firstname.lastname@example.org