Vicki Christiansen has been selected as the next Acting Northern Region Forester. She will take over the office in Missoula MT in February and lead the US Forest Service region which covers Montana, North Dakota and parts of Idaho and South Dakota.

The area includes the Lolo, Bitterroot, and Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forests, and over about 25 million acres. She replaces acting Forester Tom Schmidt. Former Northern Region Forester Leslie Weldon was promoted last year to be Deputy Chief of the US Forest Service.

Christiansen is currently the Deputy Director of Fire and Aviation Management in Washington DC, and has been Arizona State Forester and Washington State Forester. She began her career as a wildland firefighter while in college at the University of Washington.

Her first day on the job is scheduled to be February 1 in Missoula. She said, in a news release, "The Region has a long history of sound leadership, proven natural resource successes, and great community and partner support, and I am anxious to build on these successes."