The U.S. Forest Service announced Monday that it has hired Karen Schroyer as the Aspen-Sopris District Ranger.
Schroyer is currently the acting district ranger in the Salt Lake Ranger District in Utah. She will start her new position in Aspen and Carbondale on Feb. 10.
Prior to the past two months, Schroyer was the district ranger in the Dixie National Forest in Panguitch, Utah. She was there since 2011. She has held a variety of recreation management positions with the Forest Service in Utah and in Washington, D.C., over the past 16 years. She also worked 10 years in the banking industry before joining the Forest Service in 1997.
White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams, who will be Schroyer’s supervisor, said Schroyer has demonstrated a calming and professional demeanor as well as an ability to coax collaboration from diverse groups on forest issues.
“She is in a part of the world where there is strong anti-government sentiment and (desire) to take over public lands,” Fitzwilliams noted. Despite that mood, Schroyer thrived in her post, he said.
Fitzwilliams said her personal interests also align well with the recreational offerings of the Roaring Fork Valley. Schroyer and her husband, Sam, enjoy skiing, hiking, cycling and traveling the world, according to a statement by the Forest Service.
One of the biggest challenges facing Schroyer will be staffing. The district has numerous vacancies. She will have to fill some and determine how to distribute the workload, Fitzwilliams said.
The Aspen Ranger District and the Sopris Ranger District in Carbondale were merged within the last decade. The district has one of the highest levels of recreation visits because of the Aspen ski areas as well as the Maroon Bells.