Local News

News Release: Nicole Branton selected as new Kaibab Forest Supervisor

April 27, 2022

Williams, AZ, April 27, 2022 — Southwestern Regional Forester Michiko Martin has announced that Nicole Branton will be returning to the region as the new Forest Supervisor for the Kaibab National Forest.

Branton has led complex, partner-driven natural resource management efforts since 2013, first as the Red Rock District Ranger on the Coconino National Forest in Sedona and, beginning in 2019, as the Deputy Forest Supervisor for the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in western Washington. In her 25 years of public service, Branton has also worked as a resource specialist and line officer in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Illinois, South Dakota, and Washington, D.C. 

Branton will take the reins from Diane Taliaferro, who began serving as Acting Forest Supervisor after Heather Provencio’s departure last fall and ended her tour in early April. 

“We're grateful for the dedication that Diane brought to her time on the Kaibab National Forest and for her continued service," said Martin. "Nicole will bring a wealth of knowledge as she follows Diane. The Kaibab National Forest and those they serve will continue to see high quality leadership as Nicole brings her experience and local understanding to this position.”

With a strong foundation in northern Arizona and a career built around collaborative problem-solving, Branton is well positioned to lead the forest through its many crucial projects including the Bill Williams Mountain Restoration Project, Burnt Corral Vegetation Management Project, Mangum Fire response efforts, Four Forest Restoration Initiative, and Northern AZ Grassland Restoration Project (a 2022 Joint Chiefs’ project).

“I am thrilled to be returning home to northern Arizona, and I’m honored to be selected as the Forest Supervisor for the Kaibab, a forest with a reputation for getting work done with partners and communities,” said Branton. “I have admired the Kaibab staff for a long time. I’m looking forward to working with them on the challenging yet rewarding tasks of protecting our climate-vulnerable communities through landscape scale restoration, deepening relationships with Tribes, and building socially equitable and environmentally sustainable outdoor experiences that support rural economies.”  

Branton will begin her new role as Kaibab National Forest Supervisor May 8, 2022.