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Departments    Forest Engineering, Resources & Management | Forest Ecosystems & Society | Wood Science & Engineering

OSU Forestry Alum Chosen As New Forest Service Chief

Eroded slope in Ethiopian highlands

Abigail Kimball, who holds a master degree in forest engineering from the OSU College of Forestry, has been chosen as the new Chief of the Forest Service. Kimbell succeeds Chief Dale Bosworth, who will retire in early February.

Kimbell came to Oregon State University from the University of Vermont, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in forest management. After graduating from OSU with an M.F. in forest engineering in 1982, Kimbell began her career in the federal government as a forester with the Bureau of Land Management in Medford, Oregon.

She then held a variety of forester positions with the Forest Service, serving as a district ranger in Oregon and Washington. Kimbell has also held forest supervisor positions for Wyoming’s Bighorn National Forest and Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, and has been forest supervisor of the Pike, San Isabel National Forests and the Comanche National Grasslands, Colorado.

In April 2002, Kimbell joined the national headquarters as Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System in Washington, D.C. In December 2003, she was named Regional Forester of the agency’s Northern Region, headquartered in Missoula, Montana, which also includes northern Idaho and North Dakota. The Northern Region encompasses more than 25 million acres of public land on twelve national forests and four national grasslands.

As Forest Service Chief, Kimbell will oversee an organization of over 30,000 employees and a budget of just over $4 billion. She will be the 16th chief and the first woman to head the agency.

"Abigail Kimbell is a veteran of the Forest Service who began as a seasonal worker and has since filled an impressive series of field assignments," said Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. "Gail brings a wealth of knowledge to her new position. She is well respected both within the agency and by our stakeholders. I'm confident she will do a terrific job as chief."