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First African American appointed chief of the US Forest Service.

WASHINGTON: Forest veteran Randy Moore has been named chief of the US Forest Service and is the first African-American to head the agency in its 116-year history.
Moore, 66, replaces Vicki Christiansen, who has led the agency since 2018. The Forest Service, a division of the Department of Agriculture, oversees 193 million acres of public lands in 154 national forests and 20 national prairies.
Moore has been a regional forester in the Southwest Pacific region of California since 2007, where he is responsible for 18 national forests in California and Hawaii.
After his retirement on July 26, he will replace Christiansen at the helm of the agency with 30,000 employees. Christiansen and Moore will work together through an already severe wildfire season in the West, where an epic drought exacerbated by climate change has made it difficult to extinguish fires and depleted firefighting resources throughout the region.
In the Pacific Northwest, where a widespread heat wave has set record temperatures in the states of Oregon and Washington, firefighters have been stationed in high-risk areas and cities and counties have issued fire bans.
Agriculture Minister Tom Vilsack, who named Moore, called him a catalyst for change and creativity in fulfilling the Forest Service’s mission to preserve the nation’s forests.
As a regional forester, Moore has been at the forefront of climate change and, above all, led the region’s response to the dramatic increase in catastrophic wildfires in California over the past decade, Vilsack said. His proven track record of supporting and developing people and putting communities at the center of the Forest Service’s work puts him in a good position to lead the agency into the future at this critical time in our country, Vilsack said in a statement.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, praised Moore’s selection to lead the Forest Service.
California understands the challenges our forests face very well and I am pleased that a Californian is leading the effort to address them, ”she said.
Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman, the top Republican on the House Natural Resources Committee, called Moore an experienced professional and added: I sincerely hope we can work together to contain catastrophic wildfires, open our national forests to sustainable harvesting. and forests to make them more resistant to insects and diseases and much more.
Prior to leading the Pacific Southwest region, Moore was a regional ranger in the Eastern Region of Wisconsin, overseeing forests in 20 states.
Moore began his federal career in 1978 with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in North Dakota. He has worked in National Forests in Colorado, North Carolina, and Missouri, a prairie national in Kansas, and administrator in Washington.
Moore’s appointment comes as Congress and the Biden administration urge firefighters to raise pay and convert at least 1,000 seasonal wildland firefighters into workers throughout the year as the fires intensify. President Joe Biden called last week for a raise for federal firefighters that starts at just $ 13 an hour.
That’s a ridiculously low salary to pay federal firefighters, Biden said. That will end in my administration.

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