Pine trees in the Black Hills National Forest. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)
The Black Hills National Forest will soon have a new supervisor, its sixth different leader this year and 11th in the past seven years.
The new supervisor, who’s been hired to take the job on a permanent basis, is Shawn Cochran. He’ll start Jan. 14 after departing his job as supervisor of the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia.
Cochran will succeed Acting Supervisor Ivan Green.
Regional Forester Frank Beum said in a news release that the U.S. Forest Service is “happy that Shawn has accepted the position.”
“Keeping the important work of the Black Hills National Forest moving forward and meeting the commitments to our communities, tribes, partners, contractors and cooperators is essential and will be the top priority of the new forest supervisor and all forest leadership,” Beum said.
Cochran has 22 years of experience with the Forest Service. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental science from Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma, and a master’s degree in biology from Arkansas State University.
Cochran spent his early years growing up on his parents’ cattle farm in Greenwood, Arkansas. He and his wife, Keri Cochran, have three children.
The Black Hills National Forest has experienced high turnover in the supervisor position since the 2016 retirement of Craig Bobzien, who held the job for 11 years.
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