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The terrain of the Rio Grande National Forest holds great variety. Courtesy image.

Former acting ranger and program manager returns to the forest

The Rio Grande National Forest (RGNF) announced today that Patrick Moran has returned to the Divide Ranger District to serve as the new District Ranger. Moran returns to the RGNF after serving in a staff leadership role in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire, since July 2021. Prior to that appointment, Patrick served as the Watershed, Soils and Minerals Program Manager on the Rio Grande. Moran holds a degree in Geology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

“To have Patrick Moran return to the Divide Ranger District in a permanent capacity is a good step for the Forest and the community,” said Deputy Forest Supervisor Andy Kelher. “Patrick’s knowledge of the Forest will be advantageous to both leadership and our employees.” Kelher also mentioned the benefits of community and partner relationships already in place.

“I’m thrilled to begin my new role as District Ranger, serving the local communities and helping connect people to their public lands,” added Moran. “Returning to the San Luis Valley feels like a homecoming and I cannot wait to be back with the land and communities that I love.”

Moran steps into the position permanently after serving in a temporary assignment in the position earlier this year. Former District Ranger, Martha Williamson, who had served in the role since 2014, left the RGNF for a new position in the Forest Service’s International Disaster Assistance Support Program.

The Rio Grande National Forest spans more than 1.8 million acres in a forested ring around the San Luis Valley in south-central Colorado. From the high peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Range to rugged canyons and ancient calderas, the forest offers year-round opportunities for sightseeing and abundant recreational activities.

For information on the Rio Grande National Forest, call (719) 850-2374, visit the forest website, or follow their Facebook page or Twitter.