Oregon Senate confirms appointment of Tom Imeson as state Board of Forestry chair, replacing John Blackwell; Michael Rose is appointed as a board member, replacing Steve Wilson

SALEM, Oregon , December 12, 2012 (press release) – The Oregon Senate Wednesday confirmed Governor John Kitzhaber’s appointments of Tom Imeson as chair and Michael Rose as a member of the state Board of Forestry.

They will fill vacancies left by current chair John Blackwell and board member Steve Wilson, whose terms expire at the end of December. Both Blackwell and Wilson asked that Kitzhaber not reappoint them, so that they could pursue other personal and professional interests.

Imeson, of Portland, is currently public affairs director at the Port of Portland. He has extensive experience in state and federal government, with a focus on natural resources and energy. He worked for 15 years on U.S. Sen. Mark Hatfield’s personal staff and on the staffs of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources and Appropriations committees.

He was chief of staff for Gov. Neil Goldschmidt, and later became vice-president for public affairs and communications with PacifiCorp. He has served on a number of civic and state boards, including the Land Conservation and Development Commission and the Board of Higher Education.

“I have a deep appreciation of the critical role Oregon’s forests play in our state,” he said, “including their importance to our economy, and their contributions to wildlife habitat, recreation and other values.”

Rose, of Elkton, has represented forest industry workers for 36 years, through the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers/Woodworkers District Lodge in Gladstone, and the International Woodworkers of America Local Lodge in Reedsport.

A logger with International Paper Company’s Gardiner facility, he has worked in the forest products industry for 20 years.

“All of my family and friends, and many of our local economies, depend on the timber industry,” he said. “I think my interests and experience will help in maintaining a productive forest while addressing the needs of a clean, healthy environment.”

Blackwell said that "service to Oregon as chair of the Board of Forestry has been among the most challenging and fulfilling aspects of my professional forestry career. I'm proud of the board's shared accomplishments over the past four years, and pleased with the quality of leadership and staff at the Oregon Department of Forestry.”

Blackwell, of Portland, previously chaired the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission, and served in a number of executive capacities with the World Forestry Center, including as founding president.

Wilson, of Oregon City, is leaving the board to spend more time with family and to focus on his new job with an employee benefits consulting firm in Portland. He retired earlier this year as assistant directing business representative with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Kitzhaber said Imeson and Rose will bring valuable leadership, skills and perspectives as the forestry board continues with significant work, including charting future management of state-owned forests for the greatest benefit to Oregonians.

“Tom has a rich background in public service, particularly in forest policy at the state and federal levels,” he said. “Managing all of our forests with sound policies is essential to Oregon’s economic recovery and long-term wellbeing.”

He also praised the work of Blackwell and Wilson. “The board is in a good place and is working well,” he said. “The board, the Department of Forestry and the state as a whole are better off because of John’s leadership.”

The board consists of seven citizens serving four-year terms. Functions include appointing the state forester, providing broad oversight of the department, setting management direction for state-owned forests, adopting rules governing timber harvest and other practices on private forestland, and promoting sustainable management of Oregon’s 30 million-acre forestland base.

More information on the board is available at www.oregon.gov/ODF/BOARD.

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