(Washington, D.C., August 18, 2017) – U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell today announced his retirement after a 40-year career, characterized by his climb from a firefighter to a District Ranger, Forest Supervisor to the head of the U.S. Forest Service, leading more than 30,000 employees working in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue praised Chief Tidwell, saying, “From the start, we have relied on Chief Tidwell’s experience and counsel, drawing on his years of experience both in the field and in Washington. The Forest Service will miss the benefit of his knowledge but we wish him well on his retirement after more than 40 years of service with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”
Sept. 14, 2017, at 8:05 p.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Forest Service has spent more than $2 billion battling forest fires around the country — a record as wildfires blacken the American West in one of the nation’s worst fire seasons.
Wildfires have ravaged the West this summer with 64 large fires burning across 10 states as of Thursday, including 21 fires in Montana and 18 in Oregon. In all, 48,607 wildfires have burned nearly 13,000 square miles (33,586 square kilometers).
September 9, 2017 – Washington, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Friday called on Congress to address the way the U.S. Forest Service is funded so that the agency is not routinely borrowing money from prevention programs to combat ongoing wildfires. Perdue argued that taking funds from prevention efforts only leaves behind more fuel in the forests for future fires to burn, exacerbating the situation. Perdue made his remarks during a ceremonial swearing in of new Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke at the Department of Agriculture.
Press release from the USDA Forest Service:
ATLANTA (September 7, 2017) -The Southern Region of the USDA Forest Service is immediately waiving fees and making all campgrounds available for individuals displaced by the recent and forthcoming hurricanes, including Hurricane Irma.
Many National Forests were impacted by the recent storms and as a result, some of the region’s campgrounds are closed. National Forest staff are monitoring Hurricane Irma closely and may close additional campgrounds in the predicted path of the storm to ensure the safety of the public and employees.
Please call ahead or check websites to determine what is open and available. Also, individuals requesting campsites need to check in with campground hosts at each site.