Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District has a new district ranger
Leanne Veldhuis has years of experience in 'high-visitation' areas on national forest land
The White River National Forest has named Leanne Veldhuis as the new Eagle-Holy Cross District Ranger. Veldhuis will oversee the management of more than 60 employees and 652,000 acres of some of the most visited National Forest System lands in the country, including Hanging Lake, the Vail and Beaver Creek ski areas and three wilderness areas.
Veldhuis will assume her new role in mid-July. She is currently a national partnership coordinator at the Forest Service national headquarters, where she is a liaison to various national partners and manages the Secure Rural Schools program in support of rural economic development.
“Leanne brings the experience of working on high visitation, complex forests and of working at multiple levels of the Forest Service,” said Scott Fitzwilliams, White River National Forest Supervisor. “She will be a great fit for the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District.”
Prior to her time in Washington D.C., Veldhuis served in special uses on the Zigzag Ranger District of Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon and as a Presidential Management Fellow for the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. She has held temporary assignments as the deputy chief of staff for the Office of the Chief, as the deputy forest supervisor on El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico during post-Hurricane Maria recovery, and as the recreation and public affairs staff officer for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
“The Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District is an incredible area of the world — I feel fortunate to become a part of it and to play a leadership role in managing such complex, diverse challenges and priorities,” Veldhuis said. “And of course, I can’t wait to get out on the forest.”
Veldhuis has a master’s degree in environmental science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a bachelor’s degree in materials science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is originally from Michigan. Her hobbies include hiking, skiing, rock climbing, biking, and wildlife photography.