Fishlake National Forest Supervisor J. Kent Taylor is retiring after 12 years in the position and nearly 34 years with the Forest Service.

Ron Tew was named acting supervisor until a permanent replacement is named.Taylor's appointment as supervisor in 1979 was the second time he worked as an administrator for the Fishlake Forest. He spent four years on the supervisor's staff in charge of recreation, lands, fire, timber and minerals. During the interim between those appointments, he held a supervisory position on the Ashley National Forest in Vernal.

Taylor began his Forest Service career in 1959 as a range conservationist with the Wasatch National Forest in Utah, where he worked on studies of alpine plants in the Uinta Mountains. He was also assistant district ranger on the Kamas Ranger District.

His next assignment was district ranger on the Malad Ranger District of the Caribou National Forest in Idaho. He later transferred to the regional office in Ogden, where he was involved in rangeland permit administration.

During his tenure at Fishlake Forest, Taylor terms revegitation of 80,000 acres on the Oak Creek Mountain a principal accomplishment, a project that resulted in winning the Secretary of Agriculture's Distinguished Service Award in 1986. It involved 165 miles of fence, developing 114 water troughs and ponds, 80 miles of pipeline, drilling six water wells for livestock and big game and cost sharing range improvements on 80 private farms and ranches.

Taylor won the Governor's Award for Excellence and the Forest Service Intermountain Region "Rise to the Future" award in 1990 for his work in improving fisheries habitat. During his career, he also received three certificates of merit, an award for outstanding accomplishments in the area of civil rights and a certificate for strong leadership and foresight in efficient management of national forest resources.

Taylor recently received the Rangeman of the Year award, presented by the Utah Section of the Society of Range Management. He held state and national offices and filled committee assignments in that organization during his 30 years of membership, including Utah Section president in 1982.

The Vernal native holds a bachelor's degree in animal husbandry and a master's in range science from the Utah State University.

Taylor has been a member of the Richfield Rotary Club, serving a term as president.

By Reed Madsen