DENVER, CO –  The Council of Western State Foresters (CWSF) and Western Forestry Leadership Coalition (WFLC) is pleased to welcome Laura Schweitzer as the new Executive Director.    

Schweitzer previously served as the Assistant State Forester - Cooperative Forestry with the Wyoming State Forestry Division (WSFD). In this role, Schweitzer worked closely with the Wyoming State Forester to provide leadership for WSFD’s staff to administer cooperative programs encompassing rural forestry assistance, urban and community forestry, forest health, fuels mitigation, forest utilization, and outreach.

Schweitzer’s broad array of experience includes Policy and Communications Director for the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters, Agricultural Specialist with the United States Department of Agriculture, Forestry Expert with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and Director of Forest Policy at American Forests.

“Laura’s experience in forest management and policy, both at the state and federal level, makes her a great fit for this role,” said Mike Lester, State Forester and Director for the Colorado State Forest Service and Chair of the CWSF Executive Committee. “Our membership is excited to have Laura on board in this leadership role.”

Schweitzer holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry from the University of California at Berkeley and a master’s degree in environmental sciences and policy from the Johns Hopkins University.

“Laura brings a wealth of diverse experience in cultivating cooperation and dialogue,” said Cal Joyner, Regional Forester for the USDA Forest Service Southwestern Region and Chair of the WFLC Executive Board. “This experience will be a real asset to the future success of the WFLC.”

June 16 marked Caitlyn Pollihan’s last day with CWSF and WFLC. Pollihan joined the CWSF/WFLC staff in 2007 as the Government Affairs Director and served as Executive Director for over eight years. She transitioned into a new role as Executive Director for the International Society of Arboriculture effective July 2017.

To learn more about the Council of Western State Foresters, visit To learn more about the Western Forestry Leadership Coalition, visit