Andy Lerch, Lead Forester
As Lomakatsi’s lead forester Andy develops, designs and implements forest and woodland restoration projects. Originally from the oak-hickory country of the Midwest, Andy received a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2007. He developed a fascination with forest insects and their ability to have dramatic effects on the forest dynamics, and worked under a Forest Service research entomologist studying bark beetles in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona. That seasonal position led to a master’s project studying the effect of mountain pine beetle attack and tree mortality on ponderosa and lodgepole pines that had been damaged by wildfire in the Uinta Mountains in northern Utah. He received M.S. degrees in both Forestry and Entomology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2013.
While finishing his master thesis, Andy worked doing desert riparian restoration for a non-profit, Wildland Scapes, in Moab, Utah. This included leading a saw crew to remove exotic tamarisk and Russian olive trees, noxious weed management, and replanting treated areas with native plant stock. He later served as a sawyer under an arborist with Triassic Industries, did trail crew work with Ride with Respect, and a season of forest inventory with the State of Utah Division of Forestry Fire and State Lands. He most recently worked as the Acquisition Forester for the Quinault Indian Nation on the Olympic Peninsula. Andy’s wife, Alison, is fire adapted communities coordinator for the Ashland Fire Department. He is excited to be a part of the Lomakatsi team.