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Bustam named Colville National Forest district ranger

— An El Yunque National Forest worker in Puerto Rico has been selected to head up the local office of the Colville National Forest.

Tinelle Bustam has been named as the new district ranger for the Republic Ranger District, officials said, noting Bustam has been with the U.S. Forest Service for four years and has a strong background in recreation and social service.

“I have an immense love for the Pacific Northwest," Bustam said. "So, it is a great pleasure to be able to live and work in the Pacific Northwest as the district ranger for the Republic Ranger District."

She has a bachelor of science degree in wildlife biology from University of Montana, a master's degree in environmental and outdoor education from State University of New York-Cortland and a doctorate degree in natural resource recreation management from University of Florida.

“We’re pleased to have Tinelle leading the Republic District,” Forest Supervisor Laura Jo West said. “She brings a wealth of experience and energy that will serve the Forest and the people of northeastern Washington well.”

Bustam succeeds Robert Sanchez, who served as Republic District ranger from 2011 to 2014.

“I am excited to be joining the Colville National Forest, as well as the community of Republic," Bustam said. "I look forward to working with, and getting to know the forest staff, our partners and the neighboring communities.”

Bustam will be joined in Republic by her husband, Sean Whitman.

She enjoys traveling, white-water paddling and the outdoors.

Bustam has also lived and worked in Puerto Rico and Kenya, as well as having recently visited Aruba, Belize and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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