District IV – Las Vegas
The Las Vegas District Office is located at the south end of Storrie Lake State Park, just north of the city of Las Vegas. This district covers a wide array of landscapes from the southern Rockies, “the Sangre de Cristo Mountains”, the mesa country, and out into the eastern plains of New Mexico–all the way to the Texas border. This district encompasses more than 10.3 million acres across six counties – San Miguel, Mora, Quay, Curry, Guadalupe, and Harding.
The primary goals of the Las Vegas District are to work with private landowners and cooperators to help improve forest, riparian and watershed health, develop and sustain healthy urban forests, assist with the management of non-native invasive plant species, and to encourage the successful growth of businesses that depend on forest and timber resources. All project success depends on strong public support. The Las Vegas District staff encourages landowner participation in statewide programs like Smokey Bear Fire Prevention, Forest Health Initiative, American Tree Farm System, Re-Leaf, Seedling, Urban and Community Forestry. The combination of forest and water restoration efforts–along with utilization of value-added products from such restoration projects–will only benefit the forests and the people that depend on them for water, work, and a successful traditional way of life.
SHANNON ATENCIO is the Las Vegas District Forester. She started with State Forestry as a seasonal wildland firefighter while working toward her bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management from New Mexico Highlands University. She went on to become the District’s Timber Management Officer and New Mexico Invasive Weeds Program Manager for several years before taking on her current leadership role as District Forester. Shannon works with various division programs that range from Urban and Community Forestry to timber management to wildland urban interface. She also supports the district with her wildfire qualifications. Shannon is the Las Vegas District Regional Coordinator for Firewise Communities.
JARROD DURAN is the Las Vegas District Fire Management Officer (FMO). Jarrod has extensive experience and knowledge of wildland fire. He grew up in Mora, NM and started his career as a wildland firefighter with the Mora Volunteer Fire Department shortly after graduating from high school. Jarrod quickly moved up the ranks becoming an Engine Boss and a Type 4 Incident Command Team Leader through training he received from the State Forestry Division. Mr. Duran joined the Forestry Division as an Administratively Determined (AD) firefighter in 2005 and became the Las Vegas District FMO in 2018. As the FMO he works closely with local governments on Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP), assists rural fire departments with acquiring funding for firefighting equipment, and participates in many other projects.
Kristen Sanders is a native of Las Vegas and has returned after living for 20 years in Colorado. While in Denver she graduated from Metropolitan State University with a degree in Environmental Science. An internship at Bluff Lake Nature Center led her to a position as a horticulturist at the Denver Botanical Gardens. The gardens provided an inspiring atmosphere where she developed a love of trees and plants. A passion for urban forestry led to work with the City of Thornton Forestry Department where she was employed as a Parks Specialist responsible for enhancing the city’s urban canopy and directing their Xeric Garden program.
An interest in landscape design and conservation resulted in a position at the Denver Zoological Foundation where she worked as a Horticulture Coordinator for 8 years. Responsibilities included the maintenance of two tropical atriums, 30 acres of park and formal gardens, and animal exhibit installation. In conjunction with the Conservation Department, she served as Vegetative Research Specialist traveling internationally to train students in plant identification and data collection. She also served as Volunteer Team Leader recruiting and training over one hundred volunteers. She joined the Las Vegas District in January as a Project Urban & Community Forester and is excited to share her knowledge of urban forestry and conservation.
EVETTE ULIBARRI is the Administrative Management Officer for the Las Vegas District. Evette started with the Forestry Division in 2015 as an AD dispatcher for the district. Evette manages all of the business operations for the district, including procurement, budgeting, purchasing, and timekeeping for Division AD firefighters.