Last Friday, the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service Tom Tidwell announced his retirement after 40 years of service to the agency. Tony Tooke, who is currently serving as the Regional Forester for the Southern Region, will succeed Tidwell starting September 1.
“NACD congratulates Chief Tidwell on his many years of dedicated service and is grateful for all he has accomplished as a friend of conservation,” NACD CEO Jeremy Peters said. “We look forward to working with Chief Tooke in his new role to address barriers to forest health nationwide, and to ensure conservation districts play a role in both public and private lands conservation.”
Tooke has worked for the Forest Service since he was 18 years old. Prior to becoming a Regional Forester, he was the Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System (NFS), Director for Ecosystem Management Coordination, Deputy Director for Economic Recovery, and Assistant Director for Forest Management.
“Tony has been preparing for this role for his whole professional life, and at a time when we face active and growing fires, his transition into leadership will be seamless… His focus will be on ensuring we are good neighbors and are managing our forests effectively, efficiently, and responsibly, as well as working with states and local governments to ensure the utmost collaboration,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.