Washington – Veteran ranger Randy Moore has been appointed chief of the US Forest Service, the first African-American to serve in that role in the agency’s 116 years.
Moore, 66, succeeds Vicki Christiansen, who has led the service since 2018. The Forest Service, a division of the Department of Agriculture, has jurisdiction over 78 million hectares of public lands in 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands.
Moore was a California-based Pacific Southwest Region Ranger with responsibility for 18 national forests in California and Hawaii.RELATED
Christiansen will step down as head of the 30,000-employee body on July 26. Both will collaborate in the fight to what is already presented as a season of severe forest fires in the west, where a long drought aggravated by climate change makes it difficult to fight the flames and demands the most of the region’s resources.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who appointed Moore, said he is “a catalyst for change and creativity” in fulfilling the service’s mission of protecting the nation’s forests.