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Steve McConnell (’88) named Billings city forester


Steve McConnell in a forest Steve McConnell Photo courtesy of Larry Mayer, Billings Gazette

May 15, 2017 – Steve McConnell (’88 M.S. forestry) has been named city forester in Billings, Montana.

“I just want people to appreciate trees as much as I do,” he said, extolling their virtues: there’s less crime in leafy neighborhoods, traffic is calmed, road rage is eased, and people shop longer, spend more, and are more willing to travel to stores that are surrounded by trees.

Among his many responsibilities, McConnell’s top priority is taking preemptive measures to protect the city’s ash trees from the invasive emerald ash borer. The borer, a lethal beetle that has been devastating forest landscapes across the U.S., has not yet been found in Montana but has been detected as far west as Colorado.

McConnell, who also holds a doctorate in forestry from the University of Idaho, was offered the city forester position after a two-year search. He had previously served as a Washington State University regional extension specialist.

Read the full press release.

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