MAY 6, 2015

Tonto National Forest welcomes new Payson District Ranger
Bookmark and Share

PAYSON – Debbie Cress has been selected as the new ranger for the Payson and Pleasant Valley ranger districts, and will begin her new assignment on May 11, 2015.

“We are excited that Debbie is returning to Payson," said Tonto National Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth. "She has a farming and ranching background, and will bring her passion for natural resources with her to Payson. The Tonto National Forest is one of the most complex and heavily visited national forests in the nation. We are extremely pleased that Debbie is returning to Payson."

Cress replaces Angie Elam, who served as the Payson District Ranger for the past several years. Elam is now a deputy forest supervisor on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington.

Debbie was born and raised in southern New Mexico, receiving her degree in Range Science from New Mexico State University in 1993. She has worked seasonally on the Cibola National Forest in Grants, New Mexico and the Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forests in Montana.
Debbie returned to the Forest Service in 2004, as a vegetation and rangeland management specialist, NEPA project manager, and seasonal fire information officer for the Tonto National Forest. In 2013, she became the district ranger in Glenwood, NM on the Gila National Forest until accepting the offer to return to Payson and the Tonto National Forest.

District Fire Management Officer Don Nunley, has been the Acting Payson District Ranger since Elam’s departure in early January. Neil also thanked Don for serving as the Ranger during this transition. “I am grateful for Don’s willingness to assume the District Ranger responsibilities these last few months. He was able to continue working with the community on projects important to Payson.”

Debbie and her husband Jason, enjoy hiking, canoeing, backpacking, and camping in the great outdoors, as well as traveling to scenic locations both near and far. Cress will return to their home in Payson to begin work on May 11, 2015.