(Originally published at 7:50 p.m. MDT August 21, 2017)
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has selected Tony Tooke to be the Chief of the U. S. Forest Service. Now the Regional Director of the agency’s Southern Region, he will replace Tom Tidwell who announced his retirement August 18.
Immediately before he became a Regional Forester Mr. Tooke was the Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System where he oversaw Lands and Realty, Minerals and Geology, Ecosystem Management Coordination, Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers, the National Partnership Office, and Business Administration and Support Services. In addition to many other positions in the USFS Washington Office, he served as Deputy Forest Supervisor for the National Forests in Florida; District Ranger assignments on the Talladega NF in Alabama, the Oconee NF in Georgia, and the DeSoto NF in Mississippi; Timber Management Assistant, Silviculturist, and Forester on six Ranger Districts in Mississippi and Kentucky.
He grew up on a small farm near Detroit, Alabama and earned a degree in Forestry at Mississippi State University (go Bulldogs!).
Below is an excerpt from an announcement by Secretary Perdue about his appointment of Mr. Tooke:
…I want to introduce you to our next Chief, Tony Tooke, one of our own. Tony was practically born into our Forest Service, starting at the age of 18. He currently is the Regional Forester for the Southern Region.
Tony’s knowledge of forestry is unmatched. He will oversee efforts to get our forests working for the rightful owners – the American people. His focus will be on ensuring we are good neighbors with our partners in state and local governments.
The stewardship of our forests is an awesome and sacred responsibility. No one knows that better than Tony. He 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. As we move into a new season, I look forward to hearing how each member of the USFS family gives Tony your full support.
Working together we will make our forests more productive, and create more jobs. In short we will get our forests working again. Please join me in welcoming Tony to the USDA family.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Ken.
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