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Leadership Corner

Leadership Corner: Stay the course! The work environment we all deserve

Portrait of Chief Christiansen in uniform.
Chief Vicki Christiansen, USDA Forest Service

This week I testified before the Senate Energy & Natural Resources committee and the House subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. In both appearances 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. It continues to give me great pride to talk about the great work you do every day.

During one of the hearings I was asked about our progress on creating the safe and respectful work environment we all deserve. If you watched the hearings, saw media coverage of our work environment this week or are otherwise tracking our progress in this area closely, you may sometimes wonder if the pace of change is fast enough.

I have said from the very beginning of my tenure as your Chief: I have a deep personal commitment to effecting lasting change in our work environment. That lasting change will come through the actions we take together at every location in the Forest Service. I am here to stay the course with you.

We have made a good start toward lasting change. Last week, Leslie Weldon, our senior executive lead for the Work Environment and Performance Office, updated all of us on the progress of that office

During my testimony this week, I also announced we are adopting a policy of no alcohol use in facilities for our seasonal employees. We know alcohol impairs judgment and has played a role in many of our serious cases of misconduct. Allowing alcohol consumption in our facilities potentially puts…Read More

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