Garrett Hanson

As a wildland fire fighter I believe that communities need to understand and learn to live amongst wild fire. This can be accomplished by educating the public and learning from one another as professionals. I would like to see fire management moving in the right direction and want to be a part of that.

Occupation: Wildland Coordinator


City: Angel Fire

County: Colfax

Marta Call

I am the public affairs officer for the Gila National Forest. Sharing information and educating the public about Fire Adapted Communities is part of my primary mission. I enjoy living in New Mexico and want to share knowledge wherever I can.

Occupation: Public Affairs Officer


City: Silver City

County: Grant

Gabe Kohler

My interest in forest and fire management stems from the social and cultural dynamics related to resource development and human quality of life. While at Oregon State University, I worked with Fire Science and Management professor Dr. John Bailey and Extension Specialist Dr. Emily Jane Davis to create interdisciplinary research that investigated the social values and preferences surrounding wildfire risk reduction treatments on federal forestland. It is my goal to conduct research that bridges the gap between science and management, and I hope that by engaging with the Fire Adapted Communities New Mexico Learning Network I can continue to develop my skills as a research collaborator.

Occupation: Forest Stewards Guild Program Assistant


City: Santa Fe

County: Santa Fe

Ron Schali

As high school environmental science instructor and a forest land home owner I am interested in supporting the effort to create healthier, fire safe forests here in New Mexico as well as the rest of the country. I live in an area that is rated as high risk and am in the process of working with neighbors to start educating folks in this area about the importance of forest management hoping to establish a long term forest management plan for our area.

Occupation: Teacher/land owner


City: Ramah

County: McKinley

Mary Wallen

As forest fires continue to worsen, the importance of proper forest management is becoming more important. Timberlake has a great Volunteer Fire Dept., but we are in the middle of the Cibola National Forest. We have one main access for ingress and egress with the second being Forest Road 157, which in a 4 wheel drive vehicle takes 1 1/2 hours to drive thru the forest to get to the McGaffey area and close to I-40. Several of my neighbors and myself intend to promote forest management/this network to others in our area.

Occupation: Retired

Organization: Emergency Evacuation Coordinator for Timberlake Ranch Landowners Association


Phone: 505-269-5022

City: Ramah

County: McKinley


Scott Ernst

I have lived on the edge of the USFS for over 20 years. I have received two separate grants for thinning my property in that time and have a bit of a longer term perspective on watching the ecosystem improve over time with thinning. I also offer aerial mapping services for pre and post thinning assessments for fire management.

Occupation: Aerial mapping, LiDAR scanning, 3D photogrammetry modeling



City: Santa Fe

County: Santa Fe


Tom Swetnam

I live in the WUI near Jemez Springs, and I currently serve on the board of the Greater Eastern Jemez Wildland Urban Interface Corporation (Firewise group). I am working with the Jemez Firewise group, neighbors and the Forest Service to secure funds and implement forest fuels treatments, education, etc.

Occupation: Professor of dendrochronolology & watershed management, emeritus

Organization: University of Arizona


City: Jemez Springs

County: Sandoval


Ben Gillock

Our non-profit international high school is situated on 400 acres of Ponderosa Pine and Pinon forest. The forest has dangerous levels of fuel loading, and is in need of thinning and management. I teach at UWC-USA and direct our Agroecology Research Center, which has been charged with generating a plan for reducing these fuel loads.

Occupation: Director - UWC-USA Agroecology Research Center

Organization: United World College - USA

City: Montezuma

County: San Miguel


Mark Brehl

As a Fire Adapted Community practitioner living and working in Arizona I want to pay attention to the great work of our southwestern partners and the similar challenges we all face. My experience ranges from fire management, fuel mitigation, forestry, codes/ordinances, partnerships and community outreach.

Occupation: AZ Statewide Good Neighbor Authority Coordinator

Organization: Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire, The Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership & AZ Fire Adapted Communities


City: Flagstaff, AZ

County: Coconino

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Nick Smokovich


Since 2002, Nick has been a forester and firefighter providing recommendations to individual homeowner groups. Nick's objective is to educate and implement change from one house to a whole watershed so that wildland fire is not a destructive but a renewing force.

Occupation: Capitan District Forester

Organization: NM Forestry Division


City: Capitan

County: Lincoln


Canyon Young

Canyon Young holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Range Science from New Mexico State University, and is the owner and operator of Cienega Ecosystems providing a wide range of land management services including forestry thinning and defensible space. Canyon is a former USFS Wildland Firefighter, and current seasonal employee of the USFS on trails crew.

Occupation: Ecosystem Consultant

Organization: Cienega Ecosystems


City: Sandia Park

County: Bernalillo


John Waconda

The SW Region of the Forest Service is interested in supporting restoration partnerships of all types and scales. Fire prevention, mitigation, suppression, rehabilitation, and management all present opportunities for partnerships with the Forest Service.

Occupation: Restoration Partnership Coordinator

Organization: USDA, US Forest Service, SW Region


City: Albuquerque

County: Bernalillo


Hamilton Brown

I live in the WUI north of Taos and have watched big fires burn on three sides of us, including the Taos Pueblo Fire. I organized the members of our road to get Soil and Water funding to create a sheltered fuel break along our road to allow safer egress and ingress in case of fire. I work diligently to keep my 3 acres thinned and hopefully fire safe as well as continue to encourage my neighbors to do what they can.

Occupation: Retired

Organization: El Salto Firewise Community


City: Arroyo Seco

County: Taos