Official Press Release August 21, 2017 from US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue
Tony Tooke Named Chief, formal Swearing In Set for Later this Week
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that Tony Tooke would be the next Chief of the Forest Service, taking over from Tom Tidwell, who announced his retirement Friday.
Tony Tooke, for those of you who do not know him, was until today Regional Forester in Region 8 (Southern Region). A career Forest Service employee, Tony has worked primarily in either Region 8 or the Washington Office, including serving as Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System and Acting Chief of Staff. He’s also been an Assistant Director in the Forest Management (timber) staff and Director in Ecosystem Management Coordination (EMC), which oversees NEPA compliance among other duties. He’s held leadership roles in several Region 8 forests, including helping to lead the massive salvage effort on the DeSoto in Mississippi following extensive storm damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Originally from a small town in Alabama, he holds a BS in forestry from Mississippi State University.
Tooke will be formally sworn in later this week in New Hampshire. Tidwell’s last day at the Washington Office is expected to be September 1st. We expect a formal announcement on a nominee to serve as Undersecretary for Natural Resources & Environment in the very near future as well. A press release from USDA follows:
Secretary Perdue Announces Tony Tooke as New Forest Service Chief
(Washington, D.C., August 21, 2017) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced Tony Tooke will serve as the new Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. Tooke has worked for the Forest Service since age 18 and currently is the Regional Forester for the Southern Region. Following the announcement, Secretary Perdue issued this statement:
“The Forest Service will be in good hands with the U.S. Forest Service’s own Tony Tooke whose knowledge of forestry is unmatched. Tony will oversee efforts to get our forests working again, to make them more productive, and to create more jobs. 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. No doubt, the stewardship of our forests is an awesome and sacred responsibility, and no one knows that better than Tony who has dedicated his career to this noble cause,” said Secretary Perdue.
Tony Tooke Biography:
Tony Tooke is the Regional Forester for the Southern Region of the USDA Forest Service. Tooke has worked for the Forest Service since age 18, including many assignments in Region 8 and the Washington Office (WO).
He is responsible for 3,100 employees, an annual budget exceeding $400 million, 14 national forests, and two managed areas, which encompass more than 13.3 million acres in 13 states and Puerto Rico.
His previous position in Washington, DC was Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System; with oversight of 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.
As Associate Deputy Chief, Tooke was the Forest Service Executive Lead for Environmental Justice; Farm Bill implementation; and implementation of the Inventory, Monitoring, and Assessment Improvement Strategy. Another priority included implementation of a new planning rule for the National Forest System.
Also in the WO, Tooke served as Director for Ecosystem Management Coordination, Deputy Director for Economic Recovery, and Assistant Director for Forest Management.
Prior to 2006, Tooke served as Deputy Forest Supervisor for the National Forests in Florida as well as District Ranger assignments at the Talladega NF in Alabama, the Oconee NF in Georgia, and the DeSoto NF in Mississippi. His other field assignments were Timber Management Assistant, Other Resource Assistant, Silviculturist, and Forester on six Ranger Districts in Mississippi and Kentucky.
Tooke grew up on a small 200-acre farm in Detroit, AL. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Forestry from Mississippi State University. He was in the Forest Service’s inaugural class of the Senior Leadership Program, and he has completed the Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program.
Retiring Chief Tom Tidwell was of President Obama’s administration. New US Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke is an appointee of President Donald Trump.
Associated California Loggers hears good things about incoming US Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke. ACL and the Joint Governmental Affairs Committee(ACL, Loggers Association of Northern California, and the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference) has developed and distributed White Papers specific to timber reform needs in the West as well as across the US, which we have sent to President Trump and other key officials. We will be getting these White Papers to Chief Tooke.
Even though Chief Tooke hails from the Southeastern part of the United States, he will be responsible for changing timber policy across the entire US and in the West. At the same time, ACL through its membership in the American Loggers Council knows many loggers and trade association officials from the Southeastern states who work in Region 8 and who will provide good networking opportunities with Chief Tooke for ACL.