Meet a Forester, Alicia “Ali” San Gil


This month, we are pleased to feature Alicia “Ali” San Gil, Director of State, Private, and Tribal Forestry, National Forest Systems – Forest Management, for the USDA Forest Service Southwestern Region. 

What was your first position in the field of forestry?

My first job in natural resources was as a horseback guide in Yosemite National Park. I learned about forest ecology reading "The Yosemite" by John Muir while living in Yosemite Valley. That experience set me on a career path in natural resources. Seven years later I took my first job with the Forest Service as the partnership coordinator on the Cibola National Forest. 

How long have you been in your role? 

Three years.

What do you enjoy most about being a Western Forestry Leadership Coalition (WFLC) member?

I value the passion for public service and the commitment to teamwork demonstrated by the WFLC members and staff. 

What do you see to be the emerging issues in your region? 

Managing drought-stressed forests into the future. The impacts of drought on wildfire behavior. Demonstrating a return on investment for forest restoration projects to address the wildfire crisis and protect water resources. Federal and state policies and funding that incentivize the growth of forest industry partners including innovations in products that use biomass. Workforce development and growth in the areas of urban forestry and reforestation. 

What is your favorite hobby? 

I started quilting during COVID. I also like gardening, reading, and hanging out with dogs, kids, family, friends, and horses.