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Interim County Manager James Jayne has announced the appointment of Jay Smith as the Coconino County Forest Restoration Director. The Board of Supervisors approved the appointment on April 24.
The Forest Restoration Director will look at both agency and operational advocacy opportunities in supporting forest industry development and provide significant capacity to address the number one public safety issue facing Coconino County, catastrophic wildfires and post-wildfire flooding. Smith will also work on pilot projects that involve a potential expansion of Good Neighbor Agreements (GNA) to include counties and to work with the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University to design and promote a wood manufacturing business cluster and biomass facility in northern Arizona.“We welcome Jay with his years of experience in the forest industry,” said Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Matt Ryan. “We’re looking forward to him joining our team at the County.”Smith is currently the Senior Forester for Good Earth Power AZ, LLC/NewLife Forest Productsand has worked there since July 2015. Previously, he worked for Southwest Forest Products, Inc. as the Vice President of Harvesting Operations from July 2013 – Dec. 2014."By hiring a Forest Restoration Director, Coconino County has demonstrated its commitment to bring innovation and leadership to move critical forest restoration objectives forward,” said District 1 Supervisor Art Babbott. “Viable forest industries are a pre-requisite for successful restoration and Jay’s decade long involvement in the private sector will serve the interests re-establishing successful industry in our region. The Board of Supervisors is committed to safeguarding our communities and protecting critical watersheds like Bill Williams Mountain the Rio de Flag from the effects of catastrophic wildfire and post-fire flooding."Smith earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Forest Management from Northern Arizona University. From 2001 to 2013, Smith served on the elected board for the Tennessee Forestry Association, a statewide organization that represents over 3,000 members as the “Voice of Forestry.”###