Getting to Know . . . Laura Jo West

Getting to Know . . . Laura Jo West

Coconino National Forest Supervisor

Laura Jo West came westward from Philadelphia, PA, to Jackson, WY, at 16 to work on the Flying V Ranch, and never went back! Horses and the outdoors are her lifelong obsessions – she raised, trained, and competed with American Paint and Quarter horses for 20 years. She wanted to be a veterinarian in college, but after organic chemistry shattered that dream she switched to the natural resources fields. She graduated from Utah State University in 1982 with a degree in Natural Resource Management and recently completed a Master’s program in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.

Laura Jo West reported as the Forest Supervisor for the Coconino National Forest on August 3, 2015 and is a 28-year career Forest Service employee who was previously the Forest Supervisor for the Colville National Forest in Washington for 5 years. Prior to that, she was a District Ranger on the Prescott National Forest from 2006 to 2010, and a Planning Staff Office on the Ashley National Forest in Vernal, UT starting in 1989.

Laura Jo has three wonderful 'kids' (now all in their 30s) she helped raise, who all live in Utah. She does not currently have any horses, but has a "mild addiction" to retired racing greyhounds. She has three at home, along with a recently adopted heeler/lab puppy and two cats.

For fun, she likes to hike with the dogs, read, travel (she's headed to India in November), and work with horses.

I love living in Flagstaff and feel privileged to help steward the magnificent landscapes of the Coconino National Forest. Besides the land itself, the biggest draw for me in coming here was the community of northern Arizona. I’ve never been anywhere in my career where the people who live here are so passionate about and so invested in their national forest. Diablo Trust is a great example of that: one of the most extraordinary examples of shared stewardship of this land that we all love.
— Laura Jo West