Secretary Perdue Applauds President Trump’s Selection for USDA’s Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment
(Washington, D.C., April 14, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded President Donald J. Trump’s selection of James Hubbard to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. Following the announcement, Secretary Perdue issued the following statement:
“I am very excited by the selection of Jim Hubbard for this leadership role at USDA. Congress passed and President Trump signed into law meaningful reforms and forest management tools that will help us better maintain our national forests. Under Jim Hubbard’s leadership, we will put these tools to use, restore our forests to health, and get them back to work for the taxpayers. Jim’s service with the Forest Service and the Department of Interior makes him exceptionally qualified for this post, and I am eager to have Jim join the team.
For those of you who don’t know him, here are a couple of incomplete bios I rounded up. Note that like previous Undersecretary Harris Sherman, and former Interior Secretary Salazar. Jim spent a great deal of his career in Colorado as State Forester. Of course, he is best known for his fire background.
From NASF here:
James (“Jim”) Hubbard worked for the Colorado Forest Service for 35 years, serving as State Forester for the final 20 of those years (1984-2004). During his two decades as State Forester, Jim served on every NASF Committee, most notably as Chair of the Legislative Committee for 10 years.
In 2004, Hubbard accepted a position as Director of the Office of Wildland Fire Coordination for the United States Department of the Interior. In January 2006, Mr. Hubbard was appointed Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry at the USDA Forest Service (USFS). During his time with the agency, Hubbard guided the agency through years of catastrophic wildfire incidents and worked closely with State Foresters to promote a comprehensive, landscape-scale approach to forest management. In 2011, he was the recipient of the NASF Lifetime Achievement Award.
And..one from CWSF here.
Here’s an interview with him in 2017 in Treesource on managing fire on landscapes:
“Hopefully, there are times when we can manage the fire in a way that it can do the right kind of work for us,” Hubbard said.
“We are not going to solve this anytime soon,” he said. “We need to find a way forward that represents progress. We are not going to get any sudden infusion of money. We are just going to have to work through this together, because it’s going to be a long time before we get to where we need to be.”
All are welcome to post links to more comprehensive bios. This may be the first time the Undersecretary and Chief have been from State and Private with backgrounds in fire (assuming Hubbard is confirmed). The many challenges of living with fire are front and center right now. To whatever extent sexual harassment is found disproportionately in fire culture, that is also important to fix ASAP. Personally, I like the idea that people who are experienced with the complexity of fire and fire organizations, as well as working with States and other partners, are leading the charge right now.