U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth today selected Jack Blackwell as Pacific Southwest regional forester. A 30-year agency veteran, Blackwell will oversee 18 national forests, which make up 20 million acres covering the North Coast, Cascade and Sierra Nevada ranges and from Big Sur to the Mexican border in the South Coast range.
“The California region offers many challenges given its unique landscapes and diverse population,” said Bosworth. “Jack was my deputy regional forester in the Intermountain Region and then we were neighboring regional foresters for four years so I know that his leadership skills and agency experience will help him to meet those challenges.”
Blackwell currently serves as the agency’s Intermountain regional forester managing 14 national forests and one national grassland in Nevada, Utah, southern Idaho, western Wyoming and some acreage in Colorado and California. He joined the Ogden, Utah, office in 1994 as deputy regional forester until he was promoted to regional forester in 1997. Before that, Blackwell did a stint in the national headquarters for several years. And, he has had assignments in national forests in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Alaska and Vermont.
"While it will be tough to leave the wonderful employees, great communities and fantastic natural resources of the Intermountain Region, I look forward to the many opportunities that await me in California,” said Blackwell. “The last seven years have been a tremendous experience for me and I have a deep admiration for the people and this land.”
Blackwell is a 1970 graduate of the University of Minnesota and holds a bachelor’s degree in forest management. He holds membership in the Society of American Foresters and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.
Blackwell will join the California regional office in Vallejo in December. Jack Troyer, Intermountain deputy regional forester for resources, will act as regional forester.
“I have great confidence in the abilities of Jack Troyer and Christopher Pyron, the region’s deputy regional forester for administration, to carry on the region’s management objectives without skipping a beat,” said Bosworth.
A member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Blackwell was born and raised in northern Minnesota. He and his wife, Pat, have one grown son, Jack, Jr., a park ranger for the State of Alaska. Blackwell is a pilot and enjoys flying in his own plane.