The Forestry Source - November 2017 - 1
November 2017* Vol. 22, No. 11
News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters
Tooke Takes Reins of US Forest Service
By Steve Wilent
IN T HIS
IS S U E
Shortleaf Pine Initiative
Efforts to restore longleaf pine, an iconic tree
of the US Southeast, get a lot of attention.
But what about shortleaf pine? This interview
by associate editor Andrea Watts with Mike
Black, executive director of the Shortleaf Pine
Initiative, sheds light on another icon of the
region. Page 10.
Black Family Land Trust
The Black Family Land Trust (BFLT) is the
only land trust in the United States whose
focus is exclusively on the "preservation and
protection of African-American and other historically underserved landowners assets." Its
new "A Tree, Is a Tree, Is a Tree" program helps
Virginia landowners develop their forestland
into working assets. Page 12.
Forests versus Hurricanes
The 12-year absence of major hurricane landfalls in the continental USA ended earlier this
year with hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
Aside from the ecological impacts on forests, recent research suggests that forests and cyclones
share a more fundamental link: their relationship with atmospheric moisture. Page 14.
AF member Tony Tooke was sworn
in as chief of the US Forest Service
on September 1, 2017, in the midst
of one of the worst wildfire seasons in recent decades and another round of "fire
borrowing"-using money from the agency's non-fire accounts to pay for fire suppression. On October 24, Congress passed
a $36.5 billion supplemental appropriations bill for hurricane disaster relief; the
bill includes a provision for $576.5 million for the Forest Service and the Interior
Department for wildfire suppression activities to replenish transfers from non-fire
accounts in Fiscal Year 2017. This funding
is in addition to the 407 million dollars
repaid as a part of the Fiscal Year 2017
Continuing Resolution. These amounts,
while welcome, represent a fraction of the
more than $2.4 billion spent on suppression this year, so far, by the Forest Service
alone. In some parts of the nation, particularly southern California, fire season is
far from over.
Tooke, who has worked for the Forest
Service since he was 18 years old, previously was the agency's southern regional
forester, responsible for 3,100 employees,
an annual budget exceeding $400 million,
14 national forests, and two managed
areas, together encompassing more than
13.3 million acres in 13 states and Puerto Rico. Prior to taking that position, he
served as an associate deputy chief for the
National Forest System, with oversight of
a range of agency divisions and functions,
including Farm Bill implementation and
implementation of the Inventory, Monitoring, and Assessment Improvement
Strategy. He was instrumental in the development of the 2012 planning rule
for the National Forest System. In other
Washington, DC-based positions, Tooke
served as director for ecosystem management coordination, deputy director for
economic recovery, and assistant director
for forest management.
Before moving to the Washington office in 2006, Tooke served as deputy forest supervisor for the national forests in
Florida and had assignments as district
ranger on other national forests, including
the Talladega in Alabama, the Oconee in
Georgia, and the DeSoto in Mississippi.
He also had several other field assignments, such as silviculturist and forester
on six ranger districts in Mississippi and
Kentucky. He was in the Forest Service's
Rio Grande Water Fund Invests in
By Steve Wilent
Continuing Education Calendar
Report Calls for
distribute, and the fees they charge for
the delivery of that water support the
construction and maintenance of delivery
infrastructure. Until recently, this was the
McCARTHY n Page 6
REPORT n Page 8
Hagenstein Lectures Debut in DC
TOOKE n Page 4
Steve Fairweather, otherwise known as Dr.
DBH, answers a question many foresters wrestle with: "How many plots do I need in my
cruise?" Page 16.
D E PA RT M E N T S
inaugural class of the Senior Leadership
Program, and he has completed the Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program.
Tooke, who grew up on a small
By Steve Wilent
new report on forest-sector research and development in the
United States puts it plainly: "The
US market for both traditional forest
products and ecosystem services is suffering from a lack of innovation," and "major
changes ... are needed to secure for the
future the benefits that America's forests
The report, The Blue Ribbon Commission on Forest and Forest Products Research
& Development in the 21st Century, was released in October by the US Endowment
for Forestry & Communities Inc., a notfor-profit organization established at the
request of the governments of the United
States and Canada in accordance with the
terms of the Softwood Lumber Agreement
2006 (SLA) between the two countries.
The commission calls for "renewed
private support for R&D and a contemporary federal research agenda, coordinated with the university community, that
addresses [the] sector's needs." Among its
How Many Plots?
The inaugural Hagenstein Lectures in Washington, DC, hosted by SAF on Capitol Hill on
October 3, featured congressional staff and
other forestry stakeholders in discussions of
the important link between working forests
and strong rural economies. "Forests impact
communities in so many ways," said speaker
Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR). "They provide
clean air and water, wildlife habitat, and better
recreational opportunities. There's no downside to having a healthy forest." Page 18.
Tony Tooke, chief of the US Forest Service since
September 1, 2017
The 2011 Las Conchas Fire burned 156,000 forested acres in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico.
Post-fire thunderstorms then led to massive ash and debris flows in surrounding canyons. The Rio Grande
turned black with sediment, and the cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe halted water withdrawals because
water managers determined the ash-laden water was not worth treating in their new $450 million and $215
million river-water facilities. Meanwhile, the flooding deposited tons of debris in Cochiti Lake, closing the
area to recreation and dumping excessive sediment in the reservoir. Photo: Craig D. Allen, USGS.
ater, for better or worse, has
often been viewed as a "free"
forest resource, even in the
arid southwestern United States. Water
utilities and irrigation districts typically
pay little or nothing for the water they