USDA Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth today named Christopher Brown as the national director of the Forest Service’s wilderness and wild and scenic rivers program.
"The national wilderness and wild and scenic rivers program director plays an essential role in helping the agency continue to protect and manage 35 million acres of wilderness as well as thousands of miles of wild and scenic rivers," said Bosworth. "Chris has a wealth of conservation and natural resource leadership experience and we look forward to having him join the agency."
The wilderness and wild and scenic rivers program is housed in the Forest Service’s National Forest System deputy area. Brown will oversee the emerging challenges in managing a third of the National Wilderness Preservation System and more than 4,000 miles of the National Wild and Scenic River System. In addition, he will lead the 10-Year Wilderness Stewardship Challenge, which aims to bring every wilderness under Forest Service management to a minimum stewardship level by the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act in 2014.
Brown currently serves as the acting assistant director of recreation and conservation for the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service where he also oversees its national rivers and trails programs. He has worked for NPS since 1988 and has held a variety of leadership positions, including chief of the rivers and watersheds division. Prior to his NPS career, Brown worked for the American Rivers, Inc., as the conservation director as well as the acting executive director. He also worked under contract with NPS as the chief planner on the Appalachian Trail.
"Having had many of my most memorable outdoor adventures and close calls on the wild and scenic rivers and wilderness areas of the national forests, it is especially exciting for me to now get the opportunity to share in their management," said Brown. "Joining the outstanding management team of the Forest Service is an additional bonus."
Brown holds a bachelor's in anthropology from Amherst College in Massachusetts, a master's in elementary teaching from the University of Chicago, and a master's in forestry from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Brown will join the Forest Service on June 5.