Selinde Downey Roosenburg

Selinde Downey Roosenburg

Selinde Roosenburg was raised on her family’s tree farm in Ohio. She grew up a barefoot explorer, building fairy houses and splashing in creeks. Lindy blossomed into a steward of Appalachian forests, planting trees, culling invasives, cutting firewood, milling lumber, and boiling maple syrup alongside her family.

In high school, Selinde excelled academically and was a dedicated member of the swim team and marching band. For two years, she studied forestry at The Ohio State University before she was accepted by University of Idaho’s Fire Science program to finish her training. All who knew her recognized that Selinde was a leader.

Lindy worked at Zaleski State Forest for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) as a forest technician. Her enthusiasm for learning about prescribed fire in forest conservation was clear. She received a full scholarship to attend a Women in Fire event, where she earned her Firefighter Training and Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior certificates. Then she participated in prescribed burns, taking photos that demonstrated her curiosity about wildland fire. Lindy’s supervisor praised her motivation, saying that she brought zeal and a strong work ethic to her job. Described by colleagues as positive, outgoing, and optimistic, Selinde never met a stranger.

In March 2021, Selinde tragically died from injuries sustained as a passenger in a utility terrain vehicle rollover while working on a prescribed burn at Richland Furnace State Forest. None of the three ODNR employees in the UTV were wearing seatbelts. In Selinde’s honor, ODNR has planted a memorial white oak tree in Zaleski State Forest and is renaming its most popular backpacking trail the Selinde Roosenburg Memorial Trail.

Lindy was beautiful without knowing it, burst with energy and enthusiasm, yet was quietly observant and introspective. She was often heard singing before she was seen and was a dedicated musician. A fiercely loyal and loving young woman, Lindy had humor so quick and dry that the unsuspecting only caught the pun or barb if they saw the twinkle in her eye. She lived with an inspiring liberation from social norms. For her, days were best spent making people laugh and serving her community.

In the months before Selinde’s death, she seemed happier. She had her own apartment and a job she was passionate about; she had created a rewarding path forward. Lindy departed life on a high note, in the act of serving others and the forests of Appalachia. She is deeply missed by her parents, brother, cousins, family, and many friends.