Intermountain Regional Forester Stan Tixier is retiring from the Forest Service in February to become the 1991 president of the Society for Range Management.

He is the second Forest Service official to leave the Ogden area after making a decision about the controversial land swap with Snowbasin ski resort, but agency spokesmen say that is coincidental.Tixier will be replaced by Gray F. Reynolds, director of the Forest Service's Land Management Planning program in Washington, D.C., and formerly a public information officer in the Ogden regional headquarters, Forest Service Chief Dale Robertson announced this week.

Tixier, who has been an agency worker for 31 years, has been regional forester in Ogden for the past eight years.

An agency spokesman said Tixier, who is out of town until next week, was emotional when he announced his retirement to the staff.

"He really enjoyed his job; he was a workaholic about it," spokesman Cindy Chojnacky said. "He was one of those who loved the Forest Service so much that it was joked about that he wore green underwear."

Tixier's retirement will come just days after Robertson is expected to either uphold or overrule appeals to Tixier's decision to trade 695 acres of national forest land to Snowbasin owner Earl Holding.

In October, Tixier overruled the decision of Wasatch Cache Forest Supervisor Dale Bosworth to trade only 220 acres. Bosworth left for a job with the Forest Service in Washington, D.C., just days after he made the original Snowbasin decision.

Chojnacky said both exits are coincidental.

Tixier apparently decided at the last minute to take advantage of some early retirement incentives, as are a number of other regional Forest Service employees, she said.

Chojnacky said Robertson's decision on the Snowbasin appeals is expected around Jan. 30. The three appeals that have been filed all request that no land be exchanged.

She said the Society for Range Management presidency, which the 59-year-old Tixier is assuming, is "usually an honor given to someone near the end of their career."

Reynolds, who worked in the regional offices in Ogden from 1969-1972, began his Forest Service career in 1964 with the intermountain region as a forester on the Teton National Forest. He also served as superintendent of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

Other assignments have included positions with the Arapaho-Roosevelt and the Angeles national forests in Colorado and California.

Reynolds has a bachelor's degree in forest management from Utah State University and a master's in natural resource administration from Michigan State University.