Bosworth to head Forest Service |

Bosworth to head Forest Service


WASHINGTON (AP) – Dale Bosworth, who built a 35-year career at the Forest Service, will become the agency’s chief, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said Thursday.

As the regional forester in the Northern Region for more than three years, Bosworth served as the chief executive overseeing 25 million acres in 12 national forests and four national grasslands in Montana, Idaho, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Bosworth, 57, will now run the agency – part of the Agriculture Department – that governs some 192 million acres of national forests and employs over 30,000 people.

”Dale Bosworth is a veteran forester who has devoted his career to the Forest Service,” Veneman said in a statement. ”His background and experience make him a great addition to our team.”

Bosworth said he was honored to take the job, calling it ”a pleasure to lead an organization whose employees are recognized for their dedication.”

He will replace former Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck, who retired March 31. Dombeck called the appointment ”a great choice.”

”He is among those I recommended and discussed with Secretary Veneman,” he said. ”Dale was instrumental in developing key parts of the Forest Service’s natural resource agenda and led development of the roads rule.”

The rule was a transportation policy evaluating roads in the country’s national forests, with an eye toward handling a tremendous backlog in road maintenance.

The policy was followed by a sweeping ban on road-building and logging in 58.5 million acres of national forest lands, except in rare circumstances. Environmentalists have cheered the policy, but the timber and mining industry have challenged it in court.

Western Republicans in particular have been critical of the roadless policy, developed by Dombeck during the Clinton administration. They welcomed Bosworth’s appointment.

”His solid science background will return us to scientific and professional management of our forests, rather than political management we’ve seen in recent years,” Rep. James Hansen, R-Utah, chairman of the House Resources Committee, said in a statement.

Bosworth began his career as a forester in 1966 at the St. Joe National Forest, now part of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. He has worked on Western forest lands from Washington state to Utah.

In 1990, he was named the Forest Service’s deputy director of timber management at its headquarters in Washington and then moved across the country in 1992 to serve as deputy regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region in San Francisco. He was also the regional forester in the Intermountain Region, based in Ogden, Utah, from 1994 to 1997.

Bosworth was raised in northern California. His father was a forest supervisor. His son, Neil, is a forester in the Black Hills National Forest and his daughter, Christie, works for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a major sponsor of elk reintroduction programs.

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