Forest supervisor speaking at Aspen U

Staff report

White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams will be the featured speaker tonight at Aspen Skiing Co.’s Aspen U series.

Fitzwilliams, who has held the top post for six years in the most heavily visited national forest, said he will discuss the controversial roots of formation of public lands and specifically national forests in the U.S. The concept spurred a reaction not unlike the protests that have been held in recent years in Nevada and Oregon.

Fitzwilliams, who is based in Glenwood Springs but oversees ranger districts as diverse as Aspen and Rifle, said he also will discuss how a transparent and somewhat imperfect process utilized by the Forest Service is truly the best for managing public lands.

He also will address declining budgets and trends the agency is dealing with and how it affects management of the forest. He will take questions at the end of the presentation.

Skico Vice President of Sustainability Auden Schendler said Fitzwilliams will make a good speaker because he follows a sort of “anti-bureaucrat” philosophy and is “very eager to make progress” on public land issues.

The event will be at the Limelight Hotel at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited.