The Gifford Pinchot National Forest’s new forest supervisor is a familiar face.
The U.S. Forest Service recently selected Johanna Kovarik to oversee the 1.37 million-acre forest in Southwest Washington, which partially borders east Clark County and encompasses Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams. Kovarik will step into the role Feb. 21 after six months as the forest’s deputy supervisor.
“She has been exemplary in her role as the deputy forest supervisor of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest,” Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa said in an agency press release. “The leadership she has brought, and will continue to bring, to this forest is crucial to continuing a high level of service to the community, and to the stewardship of our public lands.”
Kovarik has served in many roles within the U.S. Forest Service, starting in 2003 as a hydrology technician at the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska.
Over the last 19 years, Kovarik has worked as a geologist, national team lead, national program manager and, more recently, district manager in Central Oregon’s Ochoco National Forest from 2019 to 2022. There, she supported several restoration projects and tackled controversial road projects, according to the press release.
Kovarik joined the Gifford Pinchot National Forest as deputy forest supervisor in September 2022. She took on additional responsibilities during several late-season fires and through other leadership vacancies, the press release said.
“As I step into this position, I want to continue to build upon the trust, relationships and community that binds the Gifford Pinchot National Forest,” Kovarik said in the press release. “From pandemics to fires, our team has thrived in the face of adversity, and I could not be more excited to be staying on with them.”