USDA Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck today announced that Lyle Laverty has been named to direct the implementation of the National Fire Plan. The strategic plans were developed in response to the 2000 fire season and approved by President Clinton. Laverty led the Forest Service’s Multi-Agency Response Team which developed a strategy, Protecting People and Sustaining Resources in Fire-Adapted Ecosystems – A Cohesive Strategy, to address catastrophic wildfire threats in the interior west. The report outlines agency actions to address problems related to the health of national forests.
Chief Dombeck in making the announcement said “Laverty is highly qualified for this new position.” Dombeck added, “Laverty will be principally responsible for implementing major activities to restore the health of national forests by managing wildland fire. These activities are being funded by an additional $1.1 billion in Forest Service funds appropriated from Congress.”
In response to the announcement, Laverty stated, “I’m honored to take on this assignment because of the opportunity to influence where the Forest Service is going. We will coordinate with the U.S. Department of the Interior and anchor the funds Congress has given us to do excellent things on the ground.”
Laverty was appointed Regional Forester of the Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region in 1997. He was responsible for managing natural resource activities on more than 22 million acres of national forests and grasslands in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Rick Cables, Regional Forester of the Alaska Region, will replace Laverty. Cables, a native of Colorado, has 24 years of experience in natural resources management. He has been responsible for managing over 22 million acres of National Forests in Alaska. Under his leadership the region has developed a 5-year strategic plan with focus on the communities, recreation and tourism and organizational effectiveness.
Chief Dombeck announced, “Rick is returning to the Rocky Mountain Region where he knows the land and the people who use and care for the land. Rick’s background and experience in Alaska and in Colorado make him ideal for this position.”
In accepting the move, Cables said, “I am very excited to be returning to the Rocky Mountain Region. I will miss the incredible natural resources and the friendly, self-reliant citizens of Alaska. Most of all, I will miss the hardest working, most dedicated Forest Service employees I have had the privilege to serve with. I will miss Alaska, yet I am looking forward to the challenges.”