Former Vermonter among dignitaries at White Rocks renaming ceremony

08/10/07 11:36AM By Ross Sneyd

(Host) A former Vermonter joined ceremonies today to rename the White Rocks National Recreation Area south of Rutland in honor of the late Senator Robert Stafford.

U.S. Forest Service Chief Gail Kimbell was among the dignitaries at the recreation area.

Her family moved to Vermont when she was a teenager. She graduated from Bellows Free Academy in Saint Albans and earned a degree in forestry from the University of Vermont.

Kimbell became chief of the forest service in February. And she says her New England roots serve her well in her new role.

(Kimbell) "Growing up in New England, I think really gave me a sense for the value of community, for community service, for things like Town Meeting Day that can help resolve longstanding issues, where people are so open and forthright with one another in working to resolve common issues."

(Host) Kimbell recently had to help resolve some contentious issues in Vermont.

She just signed a new land management plan that established rules for recreation, timber harvesting and other uses in the Green Mountain National Forest.

Kimbell says she was glad people cared enough about the forest to get involved in the management plan.

(Kimbell) These balance points are always an opportunity for a lot of discussion about what people want to have in their national forest. I take it as a very positive sign that people are that passionate about the management of their national forest.

(Host) Although Kimbell spent part of her youth in Vermont, she says the dedication of the Robert T-Stafford White Rocks National Recreation Area was her visit to that part of the Green Mountain National Forest.

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