State foresters congratulate interim Forest Service chief on new post

Friday, March 9, 2018

The National Association of State Foresters congratulates Vicki Christiansen and offers its support as she takes on this new assignment.

The nation's 59 state and territorial foresters offer their hearty congratulations to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue's pick for interim Forest Service chief: Vicki Christiansen. Prior to yesterday's appointment, Christiansen had served seven years with the Forest Service in several key roles, including as deputy chief of the agency's State and Private Forestry programs, associate deputy chief of State and Private Forestry, and deputy director of Fire and Aviation Management. She brings an additional 30 years of forestry and wildfire management experience from the states of Arizona and Washington.

"Vicki has and will no doubt continue to be one of state and private forestry's most ardent and credible supporters," said George Geissler, Oklahoma state forester and NASF president. "The tremendous breadth of experience she brings to the table is unparalleled, and her balanced perspective will help the agency and our states work across all ownership boundaries to actively manage the nation's trees and forests.”

As Arizona state forester, Christiansen oversaw the protection of 22 million acres of state and private lands. She rose to the position of state forester for Washington after a 26-year long career with the state's natural resources department, which started with work as a wildland firefighter while in college. Christiansen earned a bachelor’s degree in forest management from the University of Washington and previously served as chair of the NASF Wildland Fire Committee.  

"Vicki knows what is needed to restore our forests and put them back to work for the taxpayers," Secretary Perdue wrote to USDA employees yesterday. "As a former wildland firefighter and fire manager, she knows first-hand that failure to properly maintain forests leads to longer and more severe fire seasons. And as a former State Forester, she knows the benefits of Good Neighbor Authority and how best to partner with our state and local colleagues."

Media Contact: Whitney Forman-Cook at wforman-cook@stateforesters.org or 202-624-5417