TPL’s Praises Tom Tidwell Selection for U.S. Forest Service

WASHINGTON, D.C – WASHINGTON, D.C 6/18/2009: Alan Front, Senior Vice President of The Trust for Public Land (TPL), today issued the following statement on the selection of Tom Tidwell to be the next Chief of the U.S. Forest Service.

“The Trust for Public Land applauds Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s selection of Tom Tidwell as the next Chief of the U.S. Forest Service. In TPL’s work over many years with Mr. Tidwell across the West, including his most recent stint as Northern Regional Forester in Montana, we and the lands we work to protect have been the beneficiaries of his wisdom, judgment, and deep commitment to America’s irreplaceable natural bounty. In our most recent work with him in Montana, those special qualities have been critical to the efforts to protect a broad array of iconic public resources ranging from the critical hunting and fishing access at Sun Ranch in the famed Madison Valley to the purchase of remaining lands formerly associated with the New World Mine project near Cooke City. On a large landscape scale, his demonstrated important leadership and vision have been invaluable assets to the Montana Legacy Project, which will ultimately protect over 310,000 acres of wild and working forest for present and future generations,” Front said.

“With Tom’s impeccable public-service experience and his forward-thinking approach to natural resource protection, we are confident in his ability to lead the Forest Service at this time of remarkable challenges and opportunities. TPL is also grateful for the successful tenure of outgoing Forest Service Chief Gail Kimbell, whose commitment to conservation we deeply appreciate, and whose efforts and direction helped to focus the agency on the challenges of climate change, the need to get our nation’s children outdoors, and the importance of water resources located in our national forests and on private lands,” said Front.

The Trust for Public Land, established in 1972, specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. With funding from a variety of federal programs, including the LWCF, state and local open-space funds, and other public and private investments, TPL has helped to protect more than 2.5 million acres across the country.