Forest Supervisor Selects New Public Affairs Officer

Release Date: 

Contact(s): Mitch Cohen, 770-297-3095

Judy Toppins, Public Affairs Officer for the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests
Judy Toppins

Gainesville, Ga. — Forest Supervisor George Bain has selected Judy Toppins as the new public affairs officer for the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. Toppins will be responsible for managing the public affairs, planning, and environmental education programs for Georgia’s two national forests in her new role beginning October 11.

"We are very pleased that Judy will be joining the Forest Service," said Bain."She brings a wealth of experience in media, Congressional and community relations. Her background working with communities and within the federal government will serve her well in this position."

Toppins comes to the Forest Service from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where she led public affairs coordination for the Fisheries Program in the ten-state southeast region for the past six years. Prior to that, she led the outreach program at the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery, which is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She also spent several years working with non-profits, schools and universities with a focus on community outreach and conservation education. She earned a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Alaska. She is a native of Gainesville and currently resides with her family in Dahlonega.

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to lead communications about a place that is so important to me -- a place that is home to some of my favorite memories and experiences," said Toppins. "The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests is a treasure, and the mission of the Forest Service is one that I strongly believe in and look forward to this new challenge."

The public affairs officer position is located in the Forest Supervisor's Office in Gainesville. As a member of the national forest's management team, Toppins will be responsible for planning, organizing, and directing communications dealing with all aspects of national forest management.  The position also serves as the primary contact for Georgia’s state and federal legislators.

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Encompassing around 867,000 acres across 26 counties, the Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests provide the finest outdoor recreation opportunities and natural resources in Georgia. Featuring nearly118,000 acres of designated Wilderness, more than 800 miles of recreation trails, and dozens of campgrounds, picnic areas, and other recreation activity opportunities, these lands are rich in natural scenery, history and culture. The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests is part of the Southern Region, with the Forest Supervisor’s office in Gainesville, Georgia, managing four District units in Blairsville (Blue Ridge District), Lakemont (Chattooga River District), Chatsworth (Conasauga District), and Eatonton (Oconee District). 

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