Skip to main content

Meet the Team

Learn about and connect with the staff in the Division of Forests.

Danielle Fitzko, ​Director | Montpelier Office

Danielle, or Danny to her friends and colleagues, has been with FPR since 2003 where she spent the first 15 years growing the Urban and Community Forestry Program. Now, she is energized by supporting the incredible team in the Division that works hard to keep Vermont forest strong. Outside of work, she can be found in the garden, in the woods, or on her yoga mat.
Contact: 802-598-9992,


Administrative Services and Offices

In addition to providing public assistance and general office management, the Administrative Services team provides extensive support to divisions and programs within the Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation. At both a district and state-wide level, the team is engaged in diverse projects and has ample knowledge in all things FPR. Please call in advance about any existing appointments, to request one, or to make other arrangements to conduct necessary business. Please see the map of district offices and the areas they cover (Map of offices - PDF).

Montpelier Office

1 National Life Drive, Davis 2 • Montpelier, VT 05620-3801
802-828-1531 (mainline) | 802-828-1250 (fax) map


Vacant, Administrative Services Coordinator


Jenny Lauer, Administrative Services

When not helping to keep the forestry division organized, Jenny enjoys reading, playing board games, taking walks outside, visiting museums and historical sites, and traveling as much as possible!
Contact: 802-828-1531,


Barre Office - District 4

5 Perry Street, Suite 20 • Barre, VT 05641-4265
802-476-0170 (mainline) | 802-476-0129 (fax) | map

Lisa Wright, Administrative Services  

Lisa has been with FPR since 2004 and with ANR since 1992. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, biking, yoga, cooking, reading, volunteering with church outreach programs, and spending time with her grandchildren.
Contact: 802-476-0170,


Essex Office - District 3

111 West Street • Essex Jct., VT 05452-4695
802-879-6565 (mainline) | 802-878-5192 (fax) | map

Vacant, Administrative Services 

Rutland Office - District 2

271 North Main Street, Suite 215 • Rutland, VT 05701-2423
802-786-0060 (mainline) | 802-786-3870 (fax) | map


Lesley PorterAdministrative Services 

Lesley joined FPR full-time in 2016 after ten years as a seasonal with the parks division. Lesley began her current role with forestry in 2021. She enjoys hiking with her dogs, kayaking, campfires, disc golf, and snowshoeing.
Contact: 802-505-8328,

Saint Johnsbury Office - District 5

374 Emerson Falls Road, Suite 4 St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
802-751-0110 (mainline) | 802-748-6687 (fax) | map

Ellen Hinman, Administrative Services

Ellen has been with FPR since 1995. When she's not at work she enjoys hiking, tent camping, snowshoeing, gardening, birding, and coaching Caledonia Special Olympics athletes.
Contact: 802-751-0123,

Springfield Office - District 1

100 Mineral Street, Suite 304, Springfield, VT  05156-3168
802-289-0613 | 802-885-8890 (fax) | map

Melissa Currier, Administrative Services

Melissa has been working with FPR since 1985. During her downtime, Melissa enjoys baking and reading.
Contact: 802-289-0613, 802-498-7413 (cell),

Forest Protection

The Forest Protection team are responsible for delivering the Wildland Fire program and the Forest Health program. Providing information on the conditions of the forest by monitoring weather, insects and diseases, understanding the impacts on tree conditions, and other ecosystem features and guiding management through prevention, early detection, and integrated management of stressors. 

Kathy Decker, Forest Protection Program Manager | St. Johnsbury Office

Kathy joined the department in 1998 as a temporary employee with the Forest Biology Lab providing diagnostic services and support. After holding several positions within the Department, Kathy now oversees the Forest Protection Team. Kathy has degrees in both forestry and plant pathology and has a propensity to be looking up continually evaluating the trees. She enjoys skiing in the winter, biking and gardening in the summer and taking pictures year-round.

Contact: 802-473-0007,


Josh Halman, Forest Health Lead | Essex Office

Josh joined the department in 2015 as a Forest Health Specialist.  Prior to his work with FPR, he received his Ph.D. in Natural Resources from UVM after studying the impacts of environmental disturbance on northern hardwood forests.  Outside of work, Josh enjoys fly fishing, playing the mandolin, and hiking with his family.
Contact: 802-279-9999,


Savannah Ferreira, Forest Health Specialist | Randolph Lab

Savannah joined the department as a forest pathologist in 2020 and runs our Forest Biology Lab at the Vermont Agriculture and Environmental Laboratory in Randolph. Savannah earned her bachelor’s degree in forestry from the University of Maine, where she focused her research efforts on documenting eastern white pine compartmentalization response to a native fungal pathogen.  After graduating, Savannah completed her master’s degree in plant pathology at West Virginia University. While there, her research focused on several fungal pathogens of oak and determining their contributions to oak-decline across the Mid-Atlantic region.
Contact: 802-505-8259,


Elizabeth Spinney, Invasive Plant Coordinator Essex Office

Elizabeth focuses her efforts on working with communities, organizations, and other state agencies to provide information about the impact of invasive terrestrial plants, and connect those people to resources to take action. When Elizabeth isn’t pulling up invasive plants, she can be found making things in her garage workshop, birding, gardening, crocheting, or exploring Vermont and beyond! She moved to Vermont shortly after completing her M.S. Biology degree, and has been with FPR since 2014.
Contact: 802-477-2134,


Jim Esden, Protection Forester | Springfield Office

Jim enjoys hiking and gardening and is a call firefighter and EMT for his local fire department. He joined FPR in 2007.
Contact: 802-777-1591,



Lars Lund, Protection Forester Rutland Office

Lars has been with the department since 1997. Outside of work he's a home improvement enthusiast and dedicated volunteer knee-bending ski patroller at Mount Snow and a volunteer firefighter. 
Contact: 802-777-4188,



Dan Dillner, Forest Fire Supervisor | Essex Office

Dan joined the department in 1989. He enjoys paddling, fishing, woodworking, and hunting. For those who follow the fire weather rating, you'll recognize Dan's name - he's the lead behind the scenes monitoring and posting the daily rating.
Contact: 802-777-3079,


Emily Meacham, Protection Forester | St. Johnsbury Office

Emily earned a math degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) before going back to school to earn a forestry degree from UMaine. She has conducted research on post-harvest assessments of downed wood and wound severity as it relates to decay compartmentalization. In addition to her work in the forest health and wildland fire programs, Emily spent many years conducting timber harvests and road construction - which she still enjoys today. When not at work, Emily spends her time backyard and skate skiing; farming ducks, chickens, maple, and apples with her husband; and hiking/running in the white mountains.
Contact: 802-595-0169,


Lina Swislocki, Invasive Plant Assistant Coordinator | Essex Office 

Pauline, who has only ever answered to the nickname Lina, joined the Invasive Plant crew in 2018. Her work centers on engaging people of all ages to protect their environments through the responsible management of invasive plants. When not at work, she has a million hobbies that mostly focus on making things, learning things, traveling, and being outside. Contact: 


Private Lands

Eighty percent of Vermont’s forest is owned by individuals and families.  The clean water, clean air, carbon storage and sequestration, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, sawtimber, firewood, and other benefits our forests provide largely come from privately owned land.  The Private Lands Program helps connect private landowners, forest enthusiasts, and communities with the tools they need to maintain healthy forests.   County foresters help landowners and communities manage their forests by providing on-the-ground technical assistance and promoting forest stewardship through outreach and educational opportunities.  They also administer the forestland elements of the Use Value Appraisal program supporting the enrollment and management of nearly 16,000 parcels with 2,000,000 acres of forest Regional leads support and coordinate program efforts and the work of county foresters to meet program goals in the north, central, and southern regions of the state and collaborate with the Private Lands Program Manager on statewide efforts.  The regional leads also serve as county foresters.  

Keith Thompson
, Private Lands Program Manager | Montpelier Office

Keith joined FPR in 2011. When he's not working he enjoys fishing with his son, exploring deep woods, and sitting by a fire.
Contact: 802-498-5169,


Linda Jacobs, Administrative Assistant  | White River Junction Office

Linda has been with FPR since 2010. She enjoys taking walks, reading, knitting, watching her grandchildren's sporting events, and playing cribbage and scrabble with her husband.
Contact: 802-281-5262,


County Foresters

Vacant, Addison County Forester | Middlebury UVM Extension Office

For forestry assistance in Addison County please contact Linda Jacobs, at 802-281-5262 or and she will direct you to the appropriate person. 

Cory Creagan, Bennington County Forester | Rutland Office

Cory started his forestry career with FPR in 2012 as a seasonal technician. He worked as a consulting forester in NY and VT from 2014 to 2019 before returning to FPR as the Bennington County Forester in 2020.
Contact: 802-505-0068,


Matt Langlais, Caledonia and Essex County Foreste| St. Johnsbury Office

Matt works hard to check off every box on the outdoor life bingo card--pedaling on trails, gravel and road, birding and bird hunting, hiking and pursuing canisters on trail-less peaks, canoeing, Nordic and backcountry skiing, fishing, and managing a Christmas tree farm. He joined the department in 1999.
Contact: 802-535-8486,


Ethan Tapper, Chittenden County Forester | Essex Office

Ethan is interested particularly in ecological forest management, and understanding the positive role that forests and forestry play in a just, equitable, and healthy world. When he's not working he enjoys managing his small homestead in Bolton, planting acorns, and playing music. He has been with the department since 2016.
Contact: 802-585-9099,


Nancy Patch, Franklin and Grand Isle County Forester | Essex Office

Nancy holds a B.S. in Forestry, an M.A in Education from UVM and an M.S in Plant and Soils Science from Texas A&M-Kingsville. She is co-founder of Cold Hollow to Canada Regional Conservation Partnership recently served on the Forest Stewards Guild Membership and Policy Council and continues to assist with student engagement. She is also on the Board of Two Countries One Forest, and the Champlain- Adirondack Biosphere Reserve steering committee. Ecosystem conservation and climate change management are Nancy’s top priority as a forester and citizen. She has been with FPR since 2007.
Contact: 802-917-2711,


Woman outdoorsEmily PotterLamoille County Forester | Barre Office

Emily has been with FPR since 2012. She enjoys swimming, running, hiking, boating, fishing, xc skiing, walking in the woods with her dog, and spending time with family and friends.
Contact: 802-622-4230,


Jared Nunery, Orleans County Forester/Northern Regional Lead | Craftsbury, Sterling College

Jared has a particular interest in helping Vermonters connect with the land, and develop their own land ethic. He enjoys working with local schools in Orleans County, and getting youth excited about being in the woods and caring for the land. When he's not working he enjoys being outside with his children, skiing in the winter; and camping, canoeing, and running in the summer. Jared joined the department in 2012.
Contact: 802-595-5754,



David Paganelli, Orange County Forester/Central Regional Lead  | White River Junction Office 

Dave has been with the department since 1989. When he's not in the woods for work, he's working at his tree farm, gardening, or snowshoeing. 
Contact: 802-461-5304,


AJ Follensbee, Orange and Windsor County Forester | White River Junction Office

AJ joined the department in 2012. When he's not at work he enjoys snowboarding, hiking with his dogs, and home brewing. 
Contact: 802-595-2429,


Hannah Dallas, Southern Windsor County Forester | White River Junction Office

Hannah joined the department in 2016. Outside of work, she enjoys gardening, cross-country skiing, knitting, and hiking. 
Contact: 802-622-4169,



Photo of Robert NelsonRobert Nelson, Washington County Forester Barre Office

For his entire life, Robert has thought of the wonderfully diverse forests of all parts of the Appalachian Mountains as his most beautiful home. Further, he thinks that the people that live, use, and find meaning in those forests are extremely important. He delights in looking for the good in the people that are part of that forest and is always pleased when he finds that good. He finds much good in both the forests and the people of Vermont, and Washington County.



Sam Schneski, Windham County Forester/Southern Regional Lead | Springfield Office

Sam joined the department in 2006 with a B.S. in Parks and Recreation Management from UMaine, Orono and an M.S. in Forestry from Umass Amherst. When not at work he enjoys spending time with his family, making maple syrup, hunting, fishing, anything having to do with running a chainsaw, building things from scratch, woodworking, and spending time at the lake
Contact: 802-380-8916,



Watershed Forestry

The Watershed Forestry Program provides assistance to managers of forestland, both public and private, to promote the implementation of practices that support and maintain the capacity of forests to produce clean water.  The program provides technical assistance related to the Acceptable Management Practices, enforces the State’s water quality rules related to timber harvesting, and administers the Heavy Cutting Law.

Dave Wilcox, Watershed Forester | Montpelier Office

Dave spends as much time as he can on his family's tree farm cutting wood, maintaining wildlife habitat, and practicing what he preaches at work. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Vermont Woodlands Association and enjoys helping folks understand their woodlands better while promoting a working landscape. When he's not thinking about trees, he enjoys family trips to the ocean and mountains, as well as skiing, riding horses, hunting, and target shooting.
Contact: 802-793-0265,


Rick Dyer, AMP Forester | St. Johnsbury and Barre Offices

Rick likes just about any reason to be outdoors, whether its fixing washed out trails, killing invasive plants, or playing bocce ball. He joined the department in 2014.

Contact: 802-505-5530,

Forest Economy Program

Helping to maintain a vibrant forest-based economy and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels are the primary goals of the Forest Economy Program. Vermont's forest-based economy provides employment and supports landowners with the markets for forest products which, in turn, provides the financial returns needed to maintain forests as forests.  Staff provides information & education to a wide range of audiences on the economic and technical aspects of wood availability, harvesting, processing and markets including the use of wood as an energy source.

Paul Frederick
, Forest Economy Program Manager | Montpelier Office

Paul joined the department in 1984. When he isn't busy being the go-to guy for all things wood-market related, he enjoys hunting, gardening, and tending to his bees.
Contact: 802-777-5247,


Katharine smiles while collecting data in a forest.

 Katharine Servidio, Forest Economy Specialist | Montpelier Office

 Katharine joined the department in 2021. In her free time, she enjoys sailing and fiber arts.
 Contact: 802-636-7804,



State Lands

Forestry’s State Lands team is responsible for the management activities on 360,000 acres of state-owned land in Vermont. This team, led by five district Stewardship Foresters, considers a variety of objectives ranging from the protection of natural resources to public uses of land, within management and the implementation of projects. Each Stewardship Forester facilitates a multi-departmental District Stewardship Team which focuses on best practices, long-range management planning, project planning, public engagement, and decision-making related to state lands. District State Lands Foresters execute forest management, planning, water quality, recreation, and habitat projects on state lands, and on behalf of their District Stewardship Team's Annual Stewardship Plan; while Forest Recreation Specialists focus on maintaining and enhancing our trail systems, recreational opportunities, overseeing recreation-based requests on state lands, and working with partner groups. 

Jim Duncan Profile Picture Jim Duncan, State Lands Manager | Montpelier Office

Jim joined FPR in 2022 after nine years with the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative. Jim received his MS in human-environment geography focused on forestry from Oregon State University, and he seeks to bring people and science together to steward forestland for current and future generations. Outside work, Jim enjoys swimming, skiing, hiking and camping with his wife and kids, growing things, and volunteering in his community.
Contact: 802-636-7554,


Springfield District

Tim Morton, Stewardship Forester

With the department since 1987, Tim enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, exploring wild areas, and playing the drums. He has a particular interest in forest silviculture, establishing diverse young forest growth and adaptive management.
Contact: 802-777-6899,


Aaron Hurst, State Lands Forester

Aaron joined the department in 1999 and he's passionate about implementing land management recommendations to create or improve wildlife habitat. Outside of work, he likes playing with heavy equipment and sawmill when he's not building something or hunting.
Contact: 802-279-8625, 


Brian Renfro, State Lands Forester

Brian has been with the department since 2017. Outside of work he enjoys skiing, sailing, and riding backroads on his motorcycle.
Contact: 802-522-8244,



Barre District

Brad Greenough, Stewardship Forester

Brad has been working on state lands in the Barre District since 1988 and moved into the Stewardship Forester position in 2019. He loves to hunt both in the states and Canada as well as working and hanging out at our camp in Groton with his wife, Ellie, and dog, Leroy.
Contact: 802-595-3143,


Jack O'Wril, State Lands Forester

Jack spends the summer with his family gardening, fishing and starting projects of all kinds (completion is optional); in the winter, they ski, ice fish, and add projects to the master list. He joined the department in 2013.
Contact: 802-272-8604,


Dan Singleton, State Lands Forester

Dan joined the department in 2013. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors with his family, making maple syrup, turning logs to lumber with his portable mill, and building things. He graduated UVM in 2003 with a B.A. in Wildlife Biology and Minor in Forestry.
Contact: 802-522-3377,


Walter Opuszynski, Forest Recreation Specialist

When not on the job, Walter enjoys learning about outer space, outdoor recreation of most varieties, and adventuring with family and friends. He is interested in sustainable trail construction, matching trailhead parking area size to the degree of use, and working with volunteers. Walter joined the department in 2017.
Contact: 802-522-6022,


Essex District

Jason Nerenberg, Stewardship Forester

Jason, or J  to his friends and colleagues, has been with FPR since 2011. Outside of work, he enjoys baking, gardening, and exploring local trails and rivers with his wife and three sons.
Contact: 802-498-4342,


Mike Johnson, State Lands Forester

Mike enjoys spending free time outdoors with his family, camping, gardening, tending fruit trees, canning, working on his 1860s work-in-progress house, and tinkering on projects in the shop. He joined the department in 1992.
Contact: 802-373-2173,


Matt Leonard, State Lands Forester

Matt is an avid outdoorsman and sports enthusiast. When not working, he enjoys family vacations and adventures, hunting, fishing, hockey, skiing, soccer, mountain biking, hiking, and cooking. His passion and love of forestry is rooted in the art and science of silviculture, "boots on the ground" implementation of responsible forest management.
Contact: 802-279-1371,


Kathryn Wrigley, Forest Recreation Specialist

Kathryn's academic background in ecology, conservation, forestry, and wildlife biology combined with her love of recreation have coalesced in a passion to more fully understand the intersection of people and public land. She's particularly interested in learning more about what drives human behavior in public natural spaces. In her free time, Kathryn enjoys hiking, gravel rides, backcountry skiing, reading, and writing letters to friends. She joined FPR in 2018.
Contact: 802-871-0535,


Rutland District 

Lisa Thornton, Stewardship Forester

Lisa joined the department in 1990 with degrees in Forest Recreation and Forest Management from Paul Smiths College and UVM. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with family hiking, kayaking, and working on their little farm.
Contact: 802-777-7480,


Ethan Crumley
, State Lands Forester

Ethan joined the department in 2013 with degrees in Forestry from SUNY ESF. When he's not at work he enjoys hiking, hunting, maple sugaring, and spending time with family.
Contact: 802-585-0763,

Kyle Mason, State Lands Forester

Kyle has been with the department since 2000. When not at work he enjoys disc golf, hunting, canoeing, and being outside with his kids. 
Contact: 802-595-9736,



Saint Johnsbury District

Lou Bushey, Stewardship Forester

Outside of work, Lou enjoys biking, hockey, waterfowl hunting, and fishing. He holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont and an M.S. in Natural Resource Management and Administration from Antioch University. He joined the department in 1999.
Contact: 802-535-8410,


Scott Machinist, State Lands Forester

Scott studied forestry and the University of Maine and enjoys fishing, fly tying, swimming and gardening. He joined the department in 2014.
Contact: 802-473-0053,



Paul Szwedo, State Lands Forester

Paul earned a Masters Degree in Forestry from the University of Maine, Orono, where his research focused on "Forest Sampling, Prescription, and Harvest Operations of Expanding Gap Silvicultural Systems in Central Maine".  Paul has special interests in silviculture and forest biometrics.  Prior to his work with the state, Paul worked as a Graduate Research Assistant and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Maine Orono, and as a forester at the USFS Penobscot Experimental Forest.  

When Paul is not in the woods, he is busy on his family's farm where he raises beef, lamb, pastured poultry, hay, and organic vegetables with his wife and son.
Contact: 802-917-4116,


Luke O'Brien, Forest Recreation Specialist

Luke is interested in the natural and cultural history of the Northeast and exploring the small towns, deep woods, and backwaters of the region. When not at work you'll find him hiking, hunting, backcountry skiing, canoeing, and working in the woods.
Contact: 802-622-4258,


Urban and Community Forestry

The Vermont Urban and Community Forestry Program leads community members, municipalities, businesses, and government in stewarding the long-lasting value of public trees and the places they create. Designed to help municipalities plant, plan, and care for their community trees, the program provides technical, educational, and financial assistance to over 175 Vermont towns, cities, non-profits, private landowners, and outdoor stewards. Learn more at

Woman stands in front of ash treeElise Schadler, Urban & Community Forestry Program Manager Essex and Montpelier Offices

Elise has been with the Urban & Community Forestry Program since 2012, first out of UVM Extension and then transitioning to FPR in 2018.  With roots in the Midwest, she immediately fell for Vermont's landscape, people, and ethos when she moved here to pursue her M.S. in Natural Resource Management from the University of Vermont.  Outside of work, she enjoys gardening, hiking, running, yoga, and spending time at the neighborhood beach on Lake Champlain with her husband and two young children. 
Contact: 802-522-6015,


Joanne Garton, Community Forestry Technical Assistance Coordinator Montpelier Office

Joanne holds a B.Scs. in geology and architecture from McGill University and is a 2015 graduate of the Field Naturalist and Ecological Planning M.Sc. program at the University of Vermont. When not monitoring trees in Vermont community spaces, find Joanne enjoying the quaint life of downtown Montpelier or playing fiddle with her band at concerts and contra dances around New England. 
Contact: 802-249-4217,