TU Salutes Dombecks Stewardship of Forest Aquatic Resources
Chief Announces His Retirement
3/28/2001 — —
Arlington, VA. . . Trout Unlimited commended Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck for being a true steward of the nations natural resources as his four-year tenure at the helm of the agency comes to an end. Dombeck announced his retirement yesterday, effective March 31st.
The great watersheds and fisheries resources of our National Forests never had a better friend in the Chiefs office than Mike Dombeck, said Charles Gauvin, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited. He talked the talk AND walked the walk. He had a vision of healthy watersheds that guided the agency, and he made great strides to achieve his goals.
The National Forests are vital to trout and salmon fisheries of the nation, as well as providing drinking water for literally hundreds of communities and millions of people. As a fisherman, a scientist, and conservationist, Dombeck knew this and used his office to preach the values of the forests throughout his tenure.
Gauvin said Dombeck also backed his words with deeds. Dombeck courageously championed protection of roadless areas, which provide some of the last best trout and salmon habitat in the U.S. as well as life-sustaining drinking water. He increased agency budgets for fish habitat conservation work, and was especially helpful in upgrading the agencys use of its Federal Power Act authorities to advocate for improved fish-friendly flows at private dams located on Forest Service lands. He inspired employees throughout the agency to make watershed protection and restoration a high priority in their on-the-ground forest management decisions.
Dombeck, 52, became the 14th Chief of the Forest Service in January 1997. His tenure as Chief capped more than 25 years of service as a federal natural resource conservation employee with the Forest Service and BLM, college professor, high school teacher, and fishing guide.
Dombeck will be missed at the Forest Service, added Gauvin. But we urge the Bush Administration to embrace the initiatives Dombeck implemented, and to choose a successor who has a resource conservation ethic and level of expertise that is equal to his.