United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck today announced that Michael Rains will now head its State and Private Forestry (S&PF) deputy area. Rains, who reports in early December, replaces Janice McDougle, who has moved on to work for Chief Operating Officer Phil Janik.
“I’m happy to accept the assignment as deputy chief,” Rains said. “I am committed to enhancing and restoring healthy, sustainable forests in federal, state and private ownership and to assuring technical and financial support for landowners and in sustainable economic assistance through cooperative forestry authorities.”
Rains began his Forest Service career 32 years ago as a wildland firefighter in California. He has served in various agency positions across the country: timber management; watershed restoration; budget planning and development; information systems; and administration. In addition, he has held leadership positions in S&PF for the last 12 years; as director of the Northeastern Area and as associate deputy chief.
In his post as Northeastern Area director, Rains led state and private forestry operations in 20 states and the District of Columbia, including forest health management, fire management and economic assistance, forest stewardship, stewardship incentive programs, forest legacy, natural resource conservation education and urban and community forestry.
In the last year, he has turned his energy to wildland fire again. First, as leader of a team to examine the cost of catastrophic wildfire and more recently, as leader of the team that produced the National Fire Plan in response to President Clinton’s request in August.
Connie Motyka, state forester of Vermont and president of the National Association of State Foresters said, “Michael has years of experience working with the state foresters in the twenty states of the northeast and mid-West and the District of Columbia. We look forward to working with him in his new national capacity.”
Rains holds a bachelor of science degree in forestry and a master of science in watershed management from Humboldt State University and a master in business administration from Georgia State University.