New USFS Chief commits to spending stimulus funds quickly

Tom Tidwell, the new Chief of the U. S. Forest Service, told the Associated Press in an interview that he intends to spend the the rest of the stimulus dollars allotted to the USFS as soon as possible:

Here is an excerpt:

New Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell says he will move quickly to ensure that his agency spends its $1.15 billion share of federal economic stimulus funding.

The Forest Service has spent $643 million of its stimulus money so far, including $228 million in projects announced this month to repair forest roads and bridges in 31 states. Tidwell said even more projects should be approved in coming weeks.

“We’re focused on doing the ones that have been selected and letting the contracts so people can get back to work,” Tidwell said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “That’s our first priority.”

Tidwell said he will continue many of the policies of his predecessor, Gail Kimbell, including a focus on fighting climate change and reaching out to children to make them more aware of and comfortable with national forests.

Tidwell, 54, was named the agency’s 17th chief on Wednesday, capping a 32-year Forest Service career. He most recently supervised national forests in northern Idaho, Montana and the Dakotas the same post Kimbell and her predecessor, Dale Bosworth, held before taking the top job.


Thanks Chuck

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