This week, Chief Tidwell spent time visiting Forest Service employees. On Tuesday, he spoke to more than 130 new employees at the National New Employee Orientation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Chief, joined by other national and regional senior leaders, engaged with new employees as they learned more about the Forest Service, including its history, mission, culture, values and organization. New employees heard presentations on key issues such as safety, diversity and inclusion, and leadership stance and habits.
Wednesday, he traveled to Tell City, Indiana, to visit with employees on Hoosier National Forest. Employees appreciated the opportunity to meet the Chief and share their forest with him. The Chief had a jam-packed agenda that provided a good perspective of opportunities and challenges on the Hoosier and in the southern tier of the region. Indiana State Forester John Seifert was able to join the Chief and discuss forest inventory and analysis data, certification standards and export markets. The Chief was impressed by how forest employees embrace the concept of being “stewards of the whole,” and how they use every opportunity to care for the land and serve people.
Fire Management Officer Terry Severson gave the Chief a brief overview of the forest’s Fire and Fuels program and the forest’s wildlife biologist took National Wild Turkey Federation interns and the Chief on a trip through a barrens area to look at a karst feature. In addition, employees were invited to a lunch where the Chief shared his perspective on the future of the agency and answered questions. The Chief also made an upcoming retirement special—Teena Ligman is retiring this month after 42 years with the agency, and the Chief helped present her with three varieties of chestnut tree from the Northern Research Station.