Randy Moore, a forester with a long history as a conservationist in several regions of the United States, has officially been tapped to be the first African American chief of the U.S. Forest Service.
According to The Hill, Moore will take over for current chief Vicki Christiansen after she steps down late next month.
The U.S. Forest Service is a 116-year-old agency that oversees 600 million acres of forestland. Moore has led the agency’s Pacific Southwest Region since 2007 and previously the Eastern Region.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, whose department oversees the Forest Service, praised Moore’s conservation work in a statement and says he’s the perfect person for the position.
“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 his role as Regional Forester, 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.”
In addition to the acres of forest he’ll be tasked with managing, Moore will also oversee 193 million acres of public lands in 43 states and Puerto Rico.