District V - Capitan

CAPITAN DISTRICT                                    Smokey Bear Historic Park   
P.O. Box 277                                                P.O. Box 591
Capitan, NM 88316                                      Capitan, NM 88316
Ph: 575-354-2231                                        Ph: 575-354-2748
Fax: 575-354-3052                                       Fax: 575-354-6012


The Capitan District spans the southeast corner of the state.  It is comprised of Chaves, De Baca, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, Otero, and Roosevelt Counties.  The district provides technical assistance to landowners and has wildland fire suppression responsibilities that cover 30,877 square miles, encompassing 8,591,874 acres of private, non-federal and non-municipal lands.  The staff provides leadership and assistance on forest and watershed health projects, as well as fire safety issues.

Since 1990, the Capitan District has also managed Smokey Bear Historical Park.  Exhibits at the site include a historical timeline of fire prevention programs, Smokey Bear's story and final resting place, information about fire ecology, and more. The surrounding gardens are an exploration of New Mexico's life zones, desert to sub-alpine.

The park is a major participant in local schools' annual Conservation Days.  Smokey Bear Days are held during the first weekend in May, and the park is invovled in Capitan’s Fourth of July celebrations. Easter and Halloween are also big events at Smokey Bear Historic Park.


Frank Silva

FRANK SILVA has been the Timber Management Officer for NM State Forestry's Capitan District since 2011. Before that he was a seasonal wildland firefighter since 2001, working his way up to Engine Boss. He has a master's degree in Biology, and was previously a high school science teacher.  Frank also ran his family's ranching and school bus contracting business.  As Timber Management Officer, he is responsible for managing the WUI , NFL, and watershed grants in Lincoln and Otero Counties. He works with and coordinates with the Greater Ruidoso and Otero working groups.  The groups are composed of all area federal management agencies, as well as South Central Mountain RC&D, Mescalero Apache Tribe, BIA, ENMU, Little Bear Forest Reform Coalition, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Frank is the District Regional Coordinator for Firewise Communities.


Patty Wilson

PATTY WILSON is the Administrative Management Officer for the Capitan District.  She is a proud Native New Mexican that started as seasonal employee for the district in 2012. She became the permanent District Administrative Management Officer in 2015. Patty has been a team member of the Pecos Zone Type 3 Team since 2013 and currently holds the position of Finance Section Chief Type 3.  Patty is always willing to learn and help where she is needed.


Bennie Long,

Bennie Long is the Forester Supervisor/Manager for Smokey Bear Historical Park.   Bennie previously worked at the US Forest Service’s Smokey Bear Ranger District as a wildland firefighter.  She was also a Park Ranger for many years and served as Manager for Lincoln and Fort Stanton State Monuments.  Bennie is proud to be a 20-year veteran with the Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department.  As Manager for Smokey Bear Historical Park, her top priorities are to preserve and maintain this special part of New Mexico’s history, and to provide visitors with memorable experiences. 


Linda Wallace

LINDA WALLACE is a Park Ranger at Smokey Bear Historical Park.  Linda received a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University. She previously worked for NM State Forestry on the 20 Communities Cost Share Program. Linda was also a forester for the Village of Ruidoso, where she prepared thinning projects, performed fuels inspections for landowners, and educated homeowners about the importance of defensible spaces.  Linda also supports NM State Forestry with their wildland firefighting efforts as a Public Information Officer on the Pecos Type 3 Team. She also has extensive experience in Public Relations and Marketing.


Brady Park

BRADY PARK has been a Park Ranger at Smokey Bear Historical Park (that’s a lot of "Parks"!) since April of 2014.  He enjoys mainitaining the park's history and beauty, as well as sharing the story of Smokey Bear and wildfire prevention to visitors from around the world.  Brady has a background in outdoor education and the building trades, and applies these to the parks's continued improvements and learning outreach.

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