The Chugach National Forest announced Tom Malecek as the new District Ranger for the Seward District. Malecek arrived on the Forest in early August from the Rio Grande National Forest where he has served since 2004 as District Ranger on the Divide District in Del Norte and Creede, Colorado.
Tom has worked for the Forest Service for 33 years, in six different Regions and began his Forest Service career as a sale prep forester on the Tongass National Forest out of Ketchikan. His career has been varied and he has worked in timber contracting, law enforcement and in practically all aspects and areas in natural resource management; as well as serving as team leader on a variety of special projects, including the 2001 Roadless Rule for the Northeastern Region of the Forest Service.
Malecek’s Ranger District in Colorado included 1 million acres and the headwaters of the Rio Grande, with 250 miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, a large recreation and lands/special uses/outfitter-guide program, and complex range and timber management programs. While historically not a “large fire” forest, the Rio Grande in southern Colorado has experienced a spruce beetle epidemic the past few years, resulting in hundreds of thousands of acres of beetle-killed Englemann spruce and culminating in a 100,000 acre wildfire on his District this past June and July.
Tom graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in Forestry and in 2010 graduated from the USFS Senior Leadership program.
Tom is excited to return to Alaska with his wife, Enid, explore the Chugach National Forest and take advantage of the incredible landscape and activities on the Kenai Peninsula, both on land and sea. He looks forward to meeting new people and working with the communities on Forest projects and issues, especially during this time as the Chugach heads into forest plan revision.
Tom will be stationed out of the Kenai Lake Work Center in Moose Pass.