The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) welcomed Tony Tooke as the new Chief of the United States Forest Service (USFS). Tom Tidwell, former Chief of the USFS, announced his retirement on August 18, and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Tooke’s promotion from Regional Forester for the Southern Region of the USFS to Chief of the USFS on August 21.
“We look forward to working with Tony Tooke as the Forest Service’s new leader,” said CSF President Jeff Crane. “As a sportsman and a forester, Tony understands the critical role of active forest management on public lands and the importance of the USFS’s 193 million acres for sportsmen and women across the country.”
Since the age of 18, Tooke has worked for the USFS. In his role as Regional Forester for the Southern Region of the USFS, Tooke managed more than 2000 employees, an annual budget in excess of $400 million, and 14 national forests in 13 states and Puerto Rico.
Tooke previously served as Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System, Deputy Forest Supervisor for the National Forests in Florida, and District Ranger for National Forests in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. Tooke grew up in Alabama and received his bachelor’s degree in Forestry from Mississippi State University.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?