Agriculture Secretary Perdue names new Forest Service chief

WASHINGTON—Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has named Tony Tooke the next Chief of the USDA Forest Service. The National Association of State Foresters congratulates Chief Tooke on his appointment and gives thanks to outgoing Chief Thomas Tidwell for his leadership and service. Chief Tidwell announced his retirement on August 18 and will retire September 1.

“Tony Tooke has successfully encouraged his staff to work across all ownership boundaries and to actively manage federal forests. We are encouraged by Mr. Tooke’s successful track record of working with State Foresters. The National Association of State Foresters is excited to work with Tony as Chief to increase the health of America’s forests and rural communities,” said Bill Crapser, Wyoming State Forester and President of the National Association of State Foresters.

Tooke joined the USDA Forest Service when he was 18 years old and has experience working at all levels of the agency. Prior to his new role as Chief, Tooke was the Regional Forester for the Southern Region of the USDA Forest Service. Tooke’s career includes many assignments in Region 8 and the Washington Office as well.

According to the USDA press release, Tooke grew up on a small 200-acre farm in Detroit, AL. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Forestry from Mississippi State University. He was in the Forest Service’s inaugural class of the Senior Leadership Program, and he has completed the Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program.

“[Tony Tooke’s] focus will be on ensuring we are good neighbors and are managing our forests effectively, efficiently, and responsibly, as well as working with states and local governments to ensure the utmost collaboration. No doubt, the stewardship of our forests is an awesome and sacred responsibility, and no one knows that better than Tony who has dedicated his career to this noble cause,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said in the release.

Media Contact: Amanda Cooke at and 202-624-5417.

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