Leadership Corner

From Chief Christiansen’s desk: Updates on her budget hearing and the death of firefighter Daniel J. Laird

March 29th, 2019 at 10:45AM

Photo: Portrait of Vicki Christiansen in front of American & Forest Service flags.
Chief Vicki Christiansen, USDA Forest Service

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to testify before the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies. I focused on our progress to actively steward the Nation’s forests and grasslands, shared our ground plan for Fiscal Year 2020 and discussed our work to champion a strong workforce and a healthy workplace. I was proud to share the work you have done. If you were unable to watch the testimony live on Wednesday, please see the link below to view the full hearing.

This week will be another mark in time in my tenure as your Chief. As you know, we lost one of our own on Tuesday evening. Daniel J. Laird, a Forest Service firefighter who died in a helicopter crash in Texas on the Sam Houston National Forest during a prescribed fire operation.  During my testimony, I took the opportunity to recognize Daniel. He worked as a helitack captain on the Tahoe National Forest in California. Our hearts and condolences go out to his wife and daughter, family, friends and co-workers.

Our Agency is made up of the most amazing people who are committed to service, just like Daniel. Your daily commitment to improving the conditions of America’s forests and grasslands and supporting and protecting communities around the country is inspiring. Please take the time to reflect on our work, be there for each other, and keep Daniel’s family, coworkers and friends in your thoughts.

Please view my testimony in its entirety below.

Chief Christiansen

Chief Christiansen's testimony before the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee starts at the 10:00 mark