Vail Valley gets new forest ranger |

Vail Valley gets new forest ranger

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – Dave Neely has been named the new district ranger for the Eagle/Holy Cross District of the White River National Forest in Colorado’s Vail Valley.

Neely is the assistant district ranger for the Androscoggin Ranger District of the White Mountain National Forest in Gorham, N.H. He should begin work in Eagle County on March 29.

“I am delighted Dave will be joining the White River National Forest,” Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said. “His experience, leadership skills and enthusiasm are a perfect match for the Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District.”

Neely grew up fishing, hunting and surfing around his hometown of Gainesville, Fla. He attended Tulane University in New Orleans and lived in Boulder and Boone, N.C. before moving to the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

He began working as a ski patroller and later for the Forest Service as a seasonal backcountry ranger. He started permanently with the Forest Service as a dispersed recreation and wilderness manager in 2000.

His most recent job has been managing the recreation, wilderness and lands programs on the Androscoggin District of the White Mountain National Forest, which oversees 460 miles of trails, three wilderness areas, numerous campgrounds, day-use and dispersed facilities, two major visitor centers, and the only avalanche forecast and rescue center east of the Mississippi.

Neely and his partner Alexa love all types of skiing, and in summer and fall, enjoy fly-fishing, mountain biking, canoeing and rock climbing.

“Colorado’s Rocky Mountains are a beloved and truly magnificent landscape and it’s a real honor to be entrusted with stewardship of this part of our national forest system,” Neely said. “I’m so excited to meet and get to work with the employees, partners, public servants, and stakeholders that care so much about this fantastic area.”

Neely replaces Brian Lloyd, who left the Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District in mid-October to take a position with the regional office of the Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Region. Don Dressler, who has been serving as the acting district ranger, will return to his duties as the snow ranger for the Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District.

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