Three finalist remain for top Oregon Forester job

By Oregon Department of Forestry

The Oregon Board of Forestry Monday announced three finalists for the position of Oregon state forester.

Board chair John Blackwell said the three are:
• Jim Paul, an assistant director with the Oregon Department of State Lands.
• Paul Bell, associate state forester with the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and chief of the agency’s Fire Protection Division.
• Doug Decker, acting chief of ODF’s State Forests Division.

Paul has been in his position with State Lands since May of 2010. He previously held a variety of positions at ODF, where he had worked since 1997, most recently as chief of the Private Forests Division.

Bell held seasonal positions with ODF from 1977 through 1982, and returned to the agency in 1990, holding positions including Cascade district forester, based in Lyons, and private forests program director.

Decker began with ODF in 1987 as the agency’s assistant director of public affairs, and has held positions including public affairs director and State Forests Division project leader.

Announcement of the finalists came after the board interviewed six candidates, narrowed from an initial field of 12 who had qualified for the position.

The board is scheduled to make its final selection on Jan. 26. Forums with the public and with ODF employees are scheduled before the final selection. The finalists will also have an opportunity to meet with Gov. John Kitzhaber.

The public forum is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. Jan. 25 in the Tillamook Room at ODF headquarters, at 2600 State St., in Salem.

The successful candidate will succeed Marvin Brown, who served in the position from 2003 until his resignation in December 2010.

The state forester carries out the board’s overarching policies and serves as director of ODF.

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