Randy Moore Becomes First African American To Lead Forest Service

US President George W. Bush (L) participates alongside California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (C) and US Forest Service Regional Forester Randy Moore (R) during a briefing on area wildfires at the Northern Operations Command Center Hangar at Redding Municipal Airport in Redding, California, on July 17, 2008. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

On Monday (June 28), US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the appointment of Randy Moore as the next chief of the US Forest Service. Moore is the first African American to lead the agency in its 116-year history and will take over for current chief Vicki Christiansen who is stepping down next month. 

Moore, a 14-year veteran of the Forest Service, previously served as the head of the Pacific Southwest Region, including 18 national forests in California, and the Eastern Region, will now oversee 600 million acres of forestland across the US. The agency is also responsible for 193 million acres of public land across 43 states and in Puerto Rico.

“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,” Vilsack said in a statement announcing Moore’s promotion.

“In his role as Regional Forest, 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,” Vilsack added. 

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