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Rim Fire Program Focuses On Recovery
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The new Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor Jeanne Higgins will be a special guest featured at a free community lecture on Rim Fire recovery efforts Thursday, Oct. 16.

The event, hosted by the Columbia College Foundation, features the region’s leading experts discussing cooperative restoration efforts under way one year after the devastating Rim Fire.

“Looking Forward: Rim Fire Recovery,” a two-hour evening program at the Sonora High School Auditorium, will be moderated by Columbia College Natural Resources professor Dr. Tom Hofstra, and features leading experts from the timber, ranching, environmental  groups and public agencies for wildlife and land management.

Leading the panel discussion will be Yosemite-Stanislaus Collaborative Co-Chairs, Mike Albrecht of Sierra Resource Management and John Buckley of the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center.

The program is free. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the program will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In addition to Higgins, Albrecht and Buckley, confirmed speakers include:

Nathan Graveline, California Department of Fish and Wildlife; Mary Moore, USFS hydrologist and BAER (Burned Area Emergency Response) Team specialist; Matt McNicol, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, forest specialist; Tim Tate, Sierra Pacific Industries.

Dr. Tom Hofstra, Columbia College Natural Resources Professor, will moderate the panel and students from the Columbia College Forestry Club will also be assisting at the event and will have information on their activities and projects.

Speakers will focus on the Rim Fire’s ongoing impacts and the efforts under way to find common ground and compromises, said CCF President Stephanie Suess.

“The Rim Fire was the third largest forest fire in California’s history and our community has so much at stake as we move forward,” Suess said. “We’ve heard a lot about policy setting and political posturing. This is an opportunity for the community to hear from folks who are playing an active, on the ground role in the recovery efforts and to learn more about what they see as being the key issues in the years to come. The Foundation is pleased to bring these leaders together for an educational evening.”

For more information, visit or call (209) 588-5065.

The Columbia College Foundation is a community nonprofit established in 1972 to promote quality higher education that enriches the academic, economic, and cultural life of the community. Its mission is to promote student success by providing community resources that support and expand educational opportunities for Columbia College’s students. Learn more at or call (209) 588-5055.