Stephaney Kerley Named New La Grande District Ranger for Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

By on Monday, January 30th, 2023 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

LA GRANDE – (Release from the U.S. Forest Service) Shaun McKinney, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Supervisor, is excited to announce that Stephaney Kerley has been selected as the new La Grande District Ranger, with an anticipated start date at the end of February. Ranger Kerley will be filling in behind Bill Gamble, who retired at the end of June 2022, after approximately eleven years as the La Grande District Ranger. Stephaney currently serves as a District Ranger on the North Fork John Day Ranger District of the Umatilla National Forest and lives in La Grande.

 “The Wallowa-Whitman is grateful to have such a highly skilled District Ranger joining our Forest and our Leadership Team,” McKinney said. Stephaney brings a variety of knowledge to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, including a strong natural resources and fire management background. She has vast experience working with a variety of Tribal governments, County Commissioners, partners, public stakeholders, and other key federal agencies. She is a certified advanced agency administrator and has extended experience overseeing complex large wildfires. Stephaney has also applied this skillset to serve as a mentor for other line officers for incident management.

Prior to serving as the North Fork John Day District Ranger, Stephaney worked as the Mountain Home District Ranger on the Boise National Forest from 2009 to 2021. In her previous two positions as District Ranger, Stephaney was responsible for leading a large and geographically dispersed organization that touched both urban and rural communities, managing a complex landscape, leading fire management efforts to protect communities, and working closely with a variety of external stakeholders.

Originally from Idaho, Ranger Kerley grew up around natural resources. From an early age, she developed a passion for public land service and management. This passion has led her throughout her career including her work for both the U.S. Forest Service as well as the National Park Service. Stephaney has a master’s degree in Forestry from Northern Arizona University.

“I am looking forward to joining the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. I have been living in La Grande for a few years now and I am extremely excited to be serving my community in this new capacity as District Ranger,” Stephaney said. “I look forward to meeting my new colleagues and opportunities to work collaboratively with the public and our partners.”

In her free time, Stephaney enjoys spending time in nature and teaching her two granddaughters about the environment.

Additional information about the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is available at