U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth today appointed Tom Thompson as National Forest System deputy chief. Thompson will be the third highest-ranking manager in the agency.
Thompson is currently deputy regional forester of the Rocky Mountain Region. A 33-year veteran of the Forest Service, he has experience in leadership positions in three regions as well as his previous experience on the Legislative Affairs staff in Washington.
“I am especially honored and pleased to accept this position and I look forward to working with Chief Dale Bosworth. I’m anxious to take on the responsibilities of the assignment.”
Thompson is a native of Colorado and a graduate of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources at Colorado State University in 1968. He began his career in Alaska with assignments on the Tongass National Forest, the Chugach National Forest and the Institute of Northern Forestry, a unit of the Pacific Northwest Experiment Station. Thompson has been deputy regional forester for the Rocky Mountain Region since December 1989, which includes over 22 million acres on 17 national forests and seven national grasslands in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.
Thompson’s appointment came after Jim Furnish announced he is leaving the Forest Service after 34 years of service. Furnish assumed the deputy chief position in June 1999, after serving as Siuslaw National Forest supervisor in Corvallis, Ore., among other assignments. Furnish said he “looks back with deep satisfaction having worked on the best, for the best and with the best. Lands managed by the Forest Service are magnificent and I was inspired and humbled by the challenge of doing right by the land.”
Before Furnish departs the agency, he has agreed to be a part of a team to provide support following release of the Thirty-Mile Fire investigation report. Chief Bosworth asked Furnish to take on the special assignment, which will require substantial executive-level time.