Regional Foresters: Chip Cartwright

Chip Cartwright
1994 – 1997

[Photo] Regional Forester Chip Cartwright, 1994-1997Chip began his forestry career in 1967 as a temporary fireman/lookout towerman on the St. Joe National Forest (now the Idaho Panhandle) in Idaho. Since then, he has served in a variety of positions throughout New Hampshire, Florida, Montana, Virginia, Oregon, Washington, and Utah.

Throughout his career, Chip has been a leader in pursuing affirmative action and diversification of the workforce. He forged new working relationships with several Native American tribes and developed new approaches to the recruitment of African-Americans. He helped develop a new mentoring program for Forest Supervisors. He noted that, “I am proud to have served as a role model for others through my own achievements in forestry.”

In 1979, Chip became the first African-American District Ranger, serving on the Conconully District of the Okanogan National Forest in Washington. In 1988, he was named Supervisor of the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia, the first African-American Forest Supervisor in the history of the Forest Service.

He served as Acting Deputy Regional Forester in the Rocky Mountain Region with leadership responsibilities for four states and served as the Acting Deputy Regional Forester in the Intermountain Region where he was responsible for all natural resource programs that are administered throughout six states.

Chip Cartwright was the Assistant Director for Ecosystem Management for the U.S. Forest Service from 1992 to 1994. Through ecosystem management, his message on the value of diversity in maintaining the health of a natural ecosystem set the guiding principles for both natural resources and organizational management in the Forest Service.

Chip is a native of Petersburg, Virginia, and received a B.S. degree in forestry and wildlife management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. He was one of the first USDA graduates of the U.S. Army War College and received special commendations from the War College Commandant.