WYOMING — Governor Mark Gordon has announced the appointment of Kelly Norris as Interim State Forester. Kelly is moving into the role due to the retirement of Bill Crapser, who served as the State Forester for 19 years.

“I want to thank Bill for his many years of service with the Wyoming State Forestry. Bill’s leadership and expertise have made Wyoming a national model for responsible forest management,” Governor Gordon said. “He will be missed, but I am thankful for his dedication to ensuring our state forests are well-managed for all who enjoy them. Kelly’s knowledge and on-the-ground experience working with Wyoming communities will serve her as Interim State Forester well. I appreciate her willingness to take on additional responsibilities. ”

Kelly, who has been with the Wyoming State Forestry Division since 2010, brings a wealth of experience. She served as a forester for the U.S. Forest Service and as District Forester for Wyoming District 5 before being promoted to Assistant State Forester last year. 

“It is an honor to serve Wyoming as the Interim State Forester,” said Kelly Norris. “I look forward to working with the State Board of Land Commissioners, federal partners, state agencies, county cooperators, timber industries and State Forestry’s dedicated staff to further the health and protection of Wyoming’s forests.”

The Wyoming State Forester serves as the leader of Wyoming State Forestry Division. They are responsible for forest management on forested state trust land, wildfire suppression and management on 3.5 million acres of state trust land, fire management coordination on 29 million acres of private land, community forestry, private landowner assistance, forest legacy, fuels management and forest health.

The State Forester is appointed by and reports to the State Board of Land Commissioners. The Board of Land Commissioners is made up of the five statewide elected officials (Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, State Treasurer and the Superintendent of Public Instruction). By state statute, the position requires, at a minimum a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry and a minimum of four years of experience in professional forestry work.