SOLVANG — Los Padres National Forest officials selected a candidate with 27 years of experience to become the new Santa Barbara District ranger.
Daryl Hodges is coming to Los Padres from the Angeles National Forest, where he serves as a forest fisheries biologist.
“I am thrilled to join Los Padres, and I am excited to work with the Santa Barbara community and the many visitors who come each year to enjoy these amazing public lands,” he said in a news release
He is replacing John “Pancho” Smith, who was recently hired as a disaster recovery coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service’s Southern Region in Atlanta.
Mr. Hodges began his career in 1994 as a stream surveyor in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington.
In 1999, he was promoted to the monument fish biologist position at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, located in Gifford Pinchot. He led stream habitat enhancement projects for five years in this position.
He moved to the Southern Region for 10 years, working on the Apalachicola and Chattahoochee-Oconee national forests in Florida and Georgia.
He spent four years at the Plumas National Forest before moving to the Angeles National Forest.
Mr. Hodges recently served as an acting district ranger in the Lincoln National Forest’s Guadalupe Ranger District.
He is originally from Philadelphia and holds a degree in general agriculture/animal science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
He and his wife Gwen are parents to four kids.
— Annelise Hanshaw