One Historic Thing: First African-American Chief of the U.S. Forest Service

Image: Pacific Southwest Region 5, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Longtime forester Randy Moore will be the first-ever African American Chief of the U.S. Forest Service since its founding 116 years ago. He will take over for Vicki Christiansen, who has led the Service since 2018, overseeing 193 million acres of public lands, including 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands. His appointment arrives as raging wildfires and a record heatwave sweep the Pacific Northwest.

Moore has worked in federal conservation since 1978 and has worked in Colorado, North Carolina and Missouri, Kansas, and Washington D.C. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says that Moore is the right man for the job, calling him “a catalyst for change and creativity.” Republicans and Democrats alike are confident that Moore can find balance while working to protect 30% of U.S. lands by 2030.

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