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University of Utah grad to speak on conservation

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SALT LAKE CITY — The associate chief of the U.S Forest Service and University of Utah alumna Mary Wagner will explore the challenges of conservation in a speech at the Hinckley Institute of Politics.

The event is Friday, Jan. 31, 12:15 p.m., 260 S. Central Campus Drive. The lecture, sponsored by the Master of Public Administration program, is free and open to the public.

"In the American West, and especially along the Wasatch Front, national forests have an enormous impact on our economy, our recreational opportunities and our water supply," said Dan McCool, director of Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the U. "We look forward to having a dialogue with Mary to enhance our collaboration and understanding."

Wagner will meet with students to discuss careers and topics of interest in the Forest Service. She will also take time to meet with local governmental and nonprofit groups to discuss environmental issues.

Wagner became associate chief for the Forest Service in January 2011. With 28 years of experience in the Forest Service, her main priorities have involved connecting people to public lands through partnerships, restoration activities and connections with urban communities.

Wagner graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in forest management and received an master's degree in public administration from the U.