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Cabin Outreach Program - Field Director
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NFH 2017 Field Director for Cabin Outreach Program

Desiree La Maggiore



As NFH begins our Cabin Outreach Program, we are pleased to announce the hiring of
Desiree La Maggiore as our new part-time NFH Field Director. 


Desiree La Maggiore in Her Own Words

In our increasingly complex world, cabin life remains a timeless, priceless experience I’m compelled to preserve and protect – which is why I am excited to join the NFH team as Field Director, focused on outreach. The realization of what the cabin program meant in my life became all too clear during my 25-year career working in high tech. Long periods of office time, marketing and management chores punctuated by mad dashes to the lake house – our cabin. It was a familiar cycle I’d witnessed twice-over.

I remember the phone call from my grandfather like it was yesterday,

“Gerry’s selling her place next door and wants to know if you or one of your sisters is interested …”

I jumped at the opportunity to provide my daughter with the same experience of “lake-house life” I’d grown up with: sleeping on the deck and counting shooting stars, fishing and hiking, waterskiing and snow skiing, sunning on the dock and reading anything and everything. I was ten when my grandparents, looking for a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, gave our family the greatest gift ever - they purchased a cabin in the Salt Creek Summer Homesites Tract on Lake Shasta, in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. As the third generation of five involved in cabin life, I was thrilled thinking of the benefits for my daughter but also thinking, “Thank goodness, more sleeping space, two more bathrooms, and another dock slip!” Ten minutes later, I made an offer to a woman I’d known most of my life - and became a cabin owner.

By 2003, I was an active participant in our tract association board, just as the 20-year permit renewal cycle was starting up. Through this process, I became better acquainted with NFH and their value. Salt Creek Summer Homesites had been tract members since 1980, and while we’d kept up with the organization through newsletters, it was revisions in the Forest Service permit language that drove our engagement.

We started attending local NFH Forums and conferences. Meeting cabin owners in other tracts helped us identify issues in common and those unique to our forest; the regional Forest Service contacts we made at meetings were invaluable in helping us navigate at the district level; and, the NFH team were a supportive shoulder that coached and counseled us through to the process.

Five years later, I’d traded in novels for the Forest Service Special Uses Handbook and Region 5 Supplement.  My daughter turned seven, and I made the decision to leave a career I loved for something I loved more - quality family time that would include entire summers at the lake with family and friends. I knew through personal experience, this time in life was fleeting, soon to be replaced with teenage angst, quickly followed by college. At the same time, largely inspired by working through the permit renewal process, I took the opportunity to go back to school and enrolled in a park management program offered through a local community college.

Now, fifteen years later, I’ve remained an active tract board member. In addition to the permit renewal, I’ve had the opportunity to help our association navigate an appraisal, a historical assessment, and a project to refurbish the water system my grandfather and his contemporaries put in decades ago.

Our lake house is more than a cabin.  It’s a cherished and constant measure of lifelong values and experiences passed from one generation to the next - a place for family, nature, hard work and hard play, rest, and reflection. When I hear a cabin story, I smile at the familiarity; it’s a language I know. When we’re on a road trip, and we happen upon a tract of cabins, we always drive through; it’s a place I know, like going home.

I’m thrilled to be part of the NFH team and at the prospect of getting to know you and your cabin story. Do you speak cabin?  Drop me an email!

Desiree La Maggiore, NFH Field Director