Successional Planning for CS Leadership in the West

In the West, we seek a balanced approach to leadership – striving for representation from public land management agencies, Tribes and Tribal affiliations, and non-governmental organizations.  The Western Regional Strategy Committee recently appointed two new leaders from the federal land management arena to replace the retiring Kent Connaughton (Regional Forester, USFS Region 6) and Peg Polichio (Director, State & Private Forestry, USFS Region 6):  

Denise Blankenship  
Assistant Fire Director – Fire Integration
Fire, Fuels & Aviation Management 
USFS Pacific NW and Alaska R6 & R10
BLM Oregon/Washington

Brad Washa
State Fuels Management Specialist
Utah State Office   
Bureau of Land Management

Both Brad and Denise bring extensive knowledge, experience with CS planning and implementation, and the full support of their agencies to participate at this higher level of leadership.  They bring a desire and a willingness to use their full reach to share the benefits of “working better together” across the West, across all landscapes. 

We hope to supplement these new additions with at least two new leaders from the Tribal and non-governmental fields. The Committee agrees that bringing on new leadership now, while the current leaders (Ann Walker, Western Governors’ Associaton and Tony Harwood, Confederated Tribes of the Kootenai & Salish) are still in place, will help fortify and add synergy to our leadership team as we transition to full implementation over the coming months. 

Please help us identify worthy and willing candidates by sending us your suggestions for our next generation of leadership.  Drop us a line at