James Melonas has been selected to become the next Forest Supervisor of the National Forests in North Carolina.
The Pisgah, Nantahala, Uwharrie and Croatan National Forests make up the National Forests in North Carolina and encompass more than 1.25 million acres, with the supervisor’s office located in Asheville, North Carolina.
“The National Forests in North Carolina are a truly special place and I am honored to have this opportunity to return to North Carolina and the Southern Region of the Forest Service,” said Melonas. “I am excited to reconnect and meet with the incredible employees, partners, and volunteers in North Carolina as we work together to steward these wonderful forests.”
Melonas has served as the Forest Supervisor for the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico since 2017. Prior to that, he served as the Deputy Forest Supervisor in North Carolina. Melonas started his career with the Forest Service in 2005 as a presidential management fellow and has served in various staff and line officer positions at the district, region and national levels.
“The Southern Region is pleased have James return to North Carolina as its next Forest Supervisor,” said Ken Arney, Regional Forester for the Southern Region. “James is a strong proponent of partnerships and collaboration in the stewardship of public lands and his experience in the Southwestern Region has prepared him well to work with a diverse set of stakeholders.”
Melonas holds a Master of Public Affairs degree with an emphasis on environmental policy and natural resource management from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Before joining the Forest Service, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi.
Melonas will begin his role in Asheville on November 22, 2020. He is replacing Allen Nicholas who retired in September 2020.