Published since 1946
Homer Wilkes Nominated for USDA Under Secretary; Randy Moore Chosen as Forest Service Chief
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced individuals to serve in two key conservation leadership posts. On June 23, Dr. Homer Wilkes, a 41 year employee of USDA, was nominated to serve as Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment. In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack noted, “[Wilkes’] nomination reflects USDA’s commitment to putting agriculture, forestry and working lands at the center of solutions to increase climate resilience, sequester carbon, and protect our air and water. While with the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Dr. Wilkes played a key role in directing engineering, natural resource, and watershed projects and took a keen interest in forestry and working lands.”
On June 28, Secretary Vilsack announced that Randy Moore has been selected to serve as the next Chief of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), replacing Vicki Christiansen who will retire on July 26. Moore is currently the Regional Forester for the Pacific Southwest Region in California where he has been serving since 2007. His career began in 1978 with NRCS before transitioning to the Forest Service where he worked on national forests and grasslands in Colorado and Kansas, as well as in Missouri. He was Regional Forester for the USFS Eastern Region in Wisconsin and also has experience in the Washington, DC office. Moore is the first African American chief of the Forest Service.
“Randy Moore has been a catalyst for change and creativity in carrying out the Forest Service’s mission to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations,” said Secretary Vilsack. “In his role as Regional Forester, Randy has been a conservation leader on the forefront of climate change, most notably leading the Region’s response to the dramatic increase in catastrophic wildfires in California over the last decade. His proven track record of supporting and developing employees and putting communities at the center of the Forest Service’s work positions him well to lead the agency into the future at this critical time in our country.”