Deputy Regional Forester of Natural Resources Selected

Deputy Regional Forester of Natural Resources Selected

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Tom Peterson, Director of Forest Management for the USDA Forest Service, Southern Region, over the last four years, has accepted an offer to serve as the Deputy Regional Forester of natural resource programs.

ATLANTA—Leadership of the region’s natural resources programs on national forests in the South has been entrusted to 33-year veteran in forest management. 

          Tom Peterson, Director of Forest Management for the USDA Forest Service, Southern Region, over the last four years, has accepted an offer to serve as the Deputy Regional Forester of natural resource programs. In this new post, he will provide regional oversight and program guidance for planning, biological & physical resources, forest management, lands, minerals, special uses, engineering and recreation, wilderness and heritage.  Peterson replaces Roberta Moltzen, who accepted a position with the Natural Resources Conservation Service earlier this year. He reports to his new post Aug. 21.

          Peterson’s recent experience in leading southern forest management programs will make it an easy transition, said Acting Regional Forester Gary Pierson.

          “Tom has become a well-respected leader in the Southern Region and forestry community,” Pierson said. “The natural resource management expertise he gained from his experiences at the field, regional and national levels will be instrumental in helping us address complex natural resource challenges facing southern forests. He will be a great addition to our regional executive team.” 

          Peterson is excited about his new venture.

          “This is a great opportunity to build on some of the natural resource achievements that are already underway in this region,” said Peterson. “I’m especially looking forward to building on the strong relationships I’ve developed with colleagues and other forest leaders. I would like to strengthen our efforts in enhancing the health and productivity of southern natural resources and forests, which are so vital to every facet of our quality of life.”

          A native of Minneapolis, Minn., Tom’s career with the Forest Service has traversed the East and Midwest. He launched his career on the Ottawa National Forest in Michigan and later worked on the Chequamegon and the Mark Twain National Forests.  He served as district ranger on the Tofte and Gunflint Districts of the Superior National Forest. In 1994, he accepted a timber sales and administration program management position in the Eastern Region headquarters in Milwaukee. In 1998, Peterson accepted a position on the forest management staff at the agency headquarters in Washington D.C.  In 2001, he was selected to serve as the regional director for forest management at the Southern Region headquarters in Atlanta.

          Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in forest management at the University of Minnesota, St Paul.  He is a member of Society of American Foresters and is known as a leader in the conservation and natural resource community.

          He is married to Lorna, and has a daughter Ericka, who resides in Northern Virginia.
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