Forest Chief Vicki Christansen at swearing in ceremony USDA photo by Preston Keres.
Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen provides a few remarks after being administered the Oath of Office by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, making her the 19th Chief of the Forest Service during the ceremony at the Yates Building in Washington, D.C., October 11, 2018. Christiansen has been serving as Interim Chief since March of this year.

USDA swears in U.S. Forest Service chief

Longtime firefighter and interim Forest Service chief Vicki Christiansen sworn in as permanent fire chief Thursday.

Vicki Christiansen will serve as the 19th chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. Christiansen has been serving as interim chief since March of this year. 

Christiansen has been a wildland firefighter and fire manager for 36 years. Prior to joining the Forest Service, Christiansen was the Arizona state forester and director of the Arizona Division of Forestry.

“As a former wildland firefighter and fire manager, chief Christiansen knows what’s needed to restore our forests and put them back to work for the taxpayers,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “With seven years at the Forest Service and 30 years with the states of Arizona and Washington, Vicki’s professional experience makes me confident that she will thrive in this role and hit the ground running.”

Ethan Lane, executive director of the Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn. Federal Lands, said, “We are pleased to see the U.S. Department of Agriculture appoint a permanent chief of the U.S. Forest Service. It is our hope that chief Christiansen looks to the ranching community as a partner when addressing wildfire issues, conserving species like the greater sage grouse and restoring the role of the range program on Forest Service lands. When the Forest Service partners with the livestock community, our nation’s natural resources flourish.”

National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) president Brent Van Dyke said, “Chief Christiansen has the necessary tools in her toolkit to hit the ground running in this new role. During her time at the Forest Service, Christiansen has worked closely with conservation districts to improve the health of our nation’s forests. Due to her education and professional experience, she understands how failing to properly manage our nation’s forests leads to longer and more severe fire seasons. NACD commends Secretary Perdue’s appointment, and we look forward to expanding this productive relationship to continue making improvements to our nation’s public and private forest lands.”

On Thursday morning, Perdue swore in Christiansen as chief in the Sidney Yates Building in Washington, D.C.

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