Shawna Legarza giving San Juan Hotshots directions to fight the fire
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In Dialogue with #WomeninAg: Shawna A. Legarza | Sustainable information

Nov 07, 2017

Shawna providing San Juan Hotshots instructions on exactly where they would assault the fireplace.

Each individual month, USDA shares the story of a female in agriculture who is main the market and supporting other girls be successful along the way. This month, we listen to from Shawna A. Legarza. Shawna is currently the Director of Hearth and Aviation Management for the U.S. Forest Support. Shawna was lifted on a cattle ranch in Northern Nevada and entered the firefighting profession as an engine crewmember for the Bureau of Land Administration. She has 29 yrs of working experience in hearth and aviation administration and has held several leadership positions in a broad selection of locations for the two the Bureau of Land Management and the USDA Forest Services.

As a lady in ag, what does a common day look like for you?

The greatest matter about my occupation is that there’s no these kinds of detail as a standard day! As Director of Fireplace and Aviation Administration for the U.S. Forest Company, I’m dependable for implementing and providing oversight on USDA and company coverage and earning critical choices to ensure we are superior stewards of the land, deliver harmless and helpful wildfire reaction, make landscapes additional resilient, and prepare communities adjacent to National Forest Process lands to stay with wildland fireplace. Due to the fact the U.S. Forest Assistance manages 154 Nationwide Forests and 20 Grasslands in 43 states and Puerto Rico, that needs me to commit a reasonable volume of my time in the subject interacting with Hearth and Aviation Management workforce and supervisors, Forest Service line officers and leaders, Incident Management Team customers, federal, state, tribal, and local govt and non-governmental group companions, and some others intrigued in and impacted by wildland fireplace. When I’m in Washington, DC, I commonly start out my day by using my bicycle to get the job done. This will help preserve me physically and mentally suit. My crucial obligations consist of briefing Forest Company and USDA leadership about wildfire exercise occurring throughout the region and fireplace and aviation management challenges operating with customers of Congress and their staffs on hearth and aviation administration challenges.

How did you choose on doing the job in the fire and aviation industry?

I grew up on a massive cattle ranch in Elko, Nevada. I labored on the ranch as effectively as in our custom made slaughterhouse. My family members could not find the money for to ship me to college or university, so right after I graduated from high university in 1988, I utilized for and approved a GS-03 Array Technician work on an Engine Crew doing work for the Bureau of Land Management.

Shawna Legarza at the Trinidad <a href=Complex in New Mexico” width=”500″ height=”326″>
Shawna located at the Trinidad Advanced in New Mexico.

As a Warm Shot crew superintendent what did you do?

The get the job done ethic I developed as a young adult performing on my family’s cattle ranch enabled me to be quite profitable as a hotshot. When I was the superintendent of the San Juan Interagency Hotshot Crew in Durango, Colorado, I was instantly liable for the life and security of my crew. We traveled all across the region performing on wildland fires aiding to safeguard citizens, homes, communities, and pure and cultural assets influenced by wildfires. We also done approved fires and mechanical thinning to reduce fire chance and make improvements to the wellness of National Forests. Hotshot crews are self-enough for 48 several hours, this means we have our individual foods, drinking water and materials. Hotshot crews are a specialised pressure of equally males and girls who operate very long hrs typically obtaining small slumber and heading without the need of creature comforts. We generally operate 16-hour shifts in steep, rugged regions in warm and smoky problems, we snooze on the ground, we go for days without a shower, and we’re away from our residences, our households, and our mates for weeks and months on end. We pleasure ourselves in the do the job we do.

Who do you assume are the most influential girls in agriculture — previous or existing?

I feel that in the Forest Provider the most influential girls are people who are leading transform in tricky positions and stepping up in Fireplace and Aviation Administration. The boots on the ground. We are observing more ladies stepping up in leadership positions, like Engine Captains, Hotshot Crew Superintendents, Forest Aviation Officers, Incident Commanders, and a selection of other employment.

What conjures up you?

The people and the challenges we facial area as an Company. I treatment deeply about the individuals who get the job done for us and I want them to come to feel pleasure and achievement each day. In the conclusion, it is all about how we acquire care of our individuals, we have usually experienced hard departmental and company worries, and we will continue on to do so, so we ought to take good treatment of our workers. The workplace atmosphere is my variety one particular precedence adopted by fiscal integrity and info technological innovation. I aspire to the qualities of transformational management and continuously performing to be an engaged leader inspires me every single and each individual working day.

How was it doing work during the 9/11 recovery attempts?

That was just one of the toughest assignments I have ever experienced. I worked the night time shift and I helped detect merchandise recovered from the “pile”. It was one particular of the most emotionally devastating assignments I have at any time been on. The silver lining was that long lasting associations were created by sharing a extremely tragic encounter.

What suggestions do you have for younger females interested in agriculture? Or what’s the very best little bit of suggestions you have gotten from an individual?

There are limitless options operating in agriculture. It is a gratifying position and can involve the opportunity to vacation to amazing spots that you would in no way or else go. There will be tough situations, as in all professions, but electric power by and persevere and you will prosper. When I talk to all workforce, the one particular thing I prescribe to them is to stay in the current, never agonize around the past or fret about the upcoming. Just be present, be client, and carry in your point of view and you will be profitable.

Shawna Legarza
Shawna A. Legarza.

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