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BIA selects Rachael Larson to direct Wildland Fire's Budget and Planning section

Date Published: Mar 2019
Author: Robyn Broyles
Office Contact - Phone Number: 208-387-5473
Rachael Larson, 2019. Photo donated by Rachael Larson.

Rachael Larson, 2019. Photo donated by Rachael Larson.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Branch of Wildland Fire Management is pleased to announce and welcome Rachael Larson to its team as the Branch Director for Budget and Planning.

Rachael comes to the Branch after serving seven years as Alaska Region’s Budget Officer. While serving the region, she was responsible formulating and executing budgets for the Region and the 228 tribes it serves. Through this experience, she participated in negotiations of Public Law 93-638 Indian Self Determination and Self Governance Contracts and Compacts. Due to the complexity of ranking hundreds of budget priorities annually, she was also a key individual in creating a regional budget survey tool, a system that makes it easier for tribes to submit their funding needs. This valuable asset is now called the Budget Ranking Tool, and it is used nationally to formulate Indian Country’s budget needs.

Prior to moving to Alaska, Rachael served the Midwest Region for 20 years. Her first position was as a Supply/Property Technician with the Chippewa National Forest. She specialized in purchasing fleet and property. After three years, she began working for the BIA at the Minnesota Agency in Bemidji, MN.

As a Forestry Assistant working in Timber Sale, Forest Development and Fire, Rachael supported a staff of 15 firefighters. In addition to taking care of their time, travel and charge cards, she also provided contract support for BIA’s single engine air tankers and other fire equipment, implemented cooperative agreements, provided reimbursements to tribes and performed casual payments for administratively determined firefighters across the Midwest and Eastern Regions. This encompassed all of the eastern states. When the western wildfire season began demanding resources, she accepted wildland fire assignments. During her 12 years working at the Agency, she earned various qualifications in dispatching and finance, including personal time recorder, finance unit leader and payment team leader.

In 2004, she accepted a promotion to the Midwest Regional Office to work as the Region’s Fire Program Analyst/Administrative Officer. While in the position, she bolstered her experience working in incident business management and negotiating cooperative agreements for the Region’s 36 tribes. After receiving another promotion in 2005, Rachael left fire to focus on serving the Region’s numerous programs as their Regional Budget Analyst.

Rachael began working for the Branch in January 2019. While serving as the Director, Budget and Planning, she will lead a team of five to provide national leadership and coordination among BIA’s 12 regions and the Department of the Interior, Office of Wildland Fire. She will also develop budget policy, procedures and processes to direct the Branch’s wildland fire management programs. With nearly 30 years of experience to offer, Rachael not only hopes to provide program uniformity, she also looks forward to mentoring new program staff to support the wildland fire community.

Rachael is Chippewa Indian and an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe/White Earth Reservation. While she is new to Boise, she is looking forward to getting to know new friends and becoming reacquainted with the lower 48 again. She has an adult son and a new six-month old granddaughter. She also will enjoy being closer to her mother and elders who live in Minnesota where she was born.

Program Area: Budget and Planning
Files:
Rachael Larson full bio

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