SAF Statement on Chief Tooke Resignation and a Call to Action

March 9, 2018 

The Chief of the US Forest Service, Tony Tooke, resigned this week amid allegations of sexual misconduct. At the same time, news outlets also released extensive reporting on gender discrimination, sexual misconduct, and retaliation for reporting such activities within the agency. The Society of American Foresters wishes to use this opportunity to call on all forest professionals to work together to break down institutional barriers and create safe, respectful, and welcoming work environments. 

“As a community, we must all do better,” said John Barnwell, acting CEO. “First and foremost, every professional deserves a safe and respectful workplace. But, if we are going to attract and retain the best talent, we must also strive to create environments where all individuals with a passion for forests are welcomed and empowered. Progress has been made, but real change requires a sustained and coordinated effort from the profession as a whole. SAF is committed to working with the US Forest Service and the broader forestry community to promote professionalism and break down barriers to success.”

Contact: John Barnwell (301) 526-7075