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US Forest Service
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C.

(800) 832-1355

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Office of the Chief

Forest Chief Tom Tidwell
Tom Tidwell

Welcome to the web site of the U.S. Forest Service Chief’s Office! In case you’re new to the Forest Service, our purpose is twofold:

(1) to make sure that America’s forests and grasslands are in the healthiest condition they can be; and

(2) to see to it that you have lots of opportunities to use, enjoy, and care for the lands and waters that sustain us all.

Our focus at the Forest Service is on the ground—on the places where you live, work, and play. Above all, we’re dedicated to keeping everyone on the ground safe and secure. Our goal is to serve our communities, both rural and urban. One way is to work with partners for healthy, resilient forests and rangelands on federal, state, and private lands. Healthy lands support the outdoor activities of millions of Americans each year, a service we proudly provide on the National Forest System. A central concern for all Americans is sustainable land management. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations to protect our communities, properties, and wildland resources from catastrophic fire and other threats.

You own your national forests and grasslands, and we are here to serve you. As you browse our website, please think of ways we can better serve you and let us know.

Associate Chief Mary Wagner
Mary Wagner
Associate Chief

Chief's Office Staff

Phone Number
Tom Tidwell Chief (202) 205-8439
Mary Wagner Associate Chief (202) 205-1779
Tim DeCoster Chief of Staff (202) 205-1661
Tina Bailey Executive Assistant to the Chief (202) 205-8439
Kim Walton Exec. Assistant to the Associate Chief (202) 205-1779
Helen Cortes Exec. Assistant to the Chief of Staff (202) 205-0998
Bonita Tyler Office Manager (202) 205-4977
Valerie Lewis-Murphey Administrative Support (202) 205-1422

Chief's Biography

Thomas L. Tidwell

Tom Tidwell has spent 37 years in the Forest Service. He has served in a variety of positions at all levels of the agency, including as district ranger, forest supervisor, and legislative affairs specialist in the Washington Office. As deputy regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region, Tom facilitated collaborative approaches to wildland fire management, roadless area management, and other issues. As regional forester for the Northern Region, Tom strongly supported community-based collaboration in the region, finding solutions based on mutual goals and thereby reducing the number of appeals and lawsuits.

In 2009, after being named Chief, Tom set about implementing the Secretary’s vision for America’s forests. Under his leadership, the Forest Service is restoring healthy, resilient forest and grassland ecosystems—ecosystems that can sustain all the benefits that Americans get from their wildlands, including plentiful supplies of clean water, abundant habitat for wildlife and fish, renewable supplies of wood and energy, and more.

Such benefits are at risk from the effects of climate change, and Tom has led the way in forging a national response. Under Tom’s leadership, the Forest Service has charted a national roadmap for addressing climate change through adaptation and mitigation. The Forest Service is taking steps to help ecosystems adapt to the effects of a changing climate while also taking action to mitigate climate change, partly by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Tom has facilitated an all-lands approach to addressing the challenges facing America’s forests and grasslands, including the overarching challenge of climate change. Such challenges cross borders and boundaries; no single entity can meet them alone. Under Tom’s leadership, the Forest Service is working with states, Tribes, private landowners, and other partners for landscape-scale conservation—to restore ecosystems on a landscape scale.

Tom is married to Kim, and they have one daughter, MacKenzie.

Associate Chief's Biography

Mary Wagner

Since assuming the position of Associate Chief for the Forest Service in January 2011, Mary has worked energetically on a wide range of both external and internal issues for the agency.  Her main priorities have involved connecting people to their public lands through partnerships, restoration activities and connections with urban communities.  Internally, she continues to work with Forest Service leadership on finding ways to streamline and reduce agency operating costs while providing a progressive, modern workplace that more closely reflects the civilian labor workforce.

Mary has spent 28 years with the Forest Service in a variety of positions. Before becoming Associate Chief, Mary served as Regional Forester for the Pacific Northwest Region in Portland, Ore. She has spent more than 20 years in key leadership positions in the Intermountain West, as deputy regional forester, forest supervisor on the Dixie National Forest in Utah; deputy forest supervisor on the Humboldt–Toiyabe National Forest in Nevada; district ranger on the Carson Ranger District, Carson City, Nev.; and district ranger on the Vernal Ranger District in Utah. At the national headquarters level, she was the Forest Service’s first Director of Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers and served as Assistant Director for Recreation, Heritage, and Wilderness Resources.

Mary was born in Monett, Missouri, and raised in southern California, where her love for the outdoors grew in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains.  She graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Forest Management and received a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah.

US Forest Service
Last modified May 15, 2020

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