Forest Service Chief

FILE - In this July 10, 2015, file photo Randy Moore, of the U.S. Forest Service, listens as President Barack Obama talks about the designation of three new national monuments in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Veteran forester Randy Moore has been named chief of the U.S. Forest Service, the first African American to lead the agency in its 116-year history. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Randy Moore, 66, took command as Chief of the United States Forest Service on Monday, replacing Vicki Christiansen, who has served as Chief since 2018. Christiansen is retiring after 40 years in forestry and wildland fire management.

“Randy Moore has been a catalyst for change and creativity in carrying out the Forest Service’s mission to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “In his role as Regional Forester, Randy has been a conservation leader on the forefront of climate change, most notably leading the Region’s response to the dramatic increase in catastrophic wildfires in California over the last decade.”

Conor Cahill, press secretary for Gov. Jared Polis said, “Governor Polis congratulates Chief Moore on his new role and looks forward to working with him on our shared mission to care for Colorado’s magnificent forests and grasslands. Chief Moore is a historic pick as President Biden and the Polis administration continue our commitment to increasing access to the outdoors for all and we look forward to working with him.” 

Most recently Moore had been the Regional Forester in Region 5, the Pacific Southwest Region, since 2007. The Pacific Southwest region covers more than 20 million acres, 18 national forests as well as Hawaii and the U.S. affiliated Pacific Islands. Moore also served for five years as the Regional Forester for the Eastern Region, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Moore is the first African American and 20th Chief of the Forest Service. Moore began his conservation career in North Dakota in 1978, taking a position with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service before shifting to the Forest Service in Colorado, working in the Pike and San Isabel National Forests.

Moore earned a bachelor’s degree in plant and soil science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He and his wife Antoinette have two sons, a daughter-in-law and two grandsons.

“Beginning his forest service career in Colorado at the Pike and San Isabel National Forests, Randy Moore understands the key challenges that face the west, such as drought and wildfires,” said U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn. “I look forward to working with him to mitigate our risk of catastrophic wildfires through active forest management and expanding recreational opportunities in Colorado.”  

“Randy Moore has spent his career tackling challenges with wildfire and drought in the West,” said U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. ”For that reason, I am confident that Randy is well suited to lead the U.S. Forest Service at this critical juncture, especially with climate change bearing down on our forests. I look forward to working with Randy in his new role to proactively invest in forest health and wildfire resilience, protect our watersheds, and grow our economy in Colorado.”