Chad VanOrmer Named Alaska Region Regional Forester

The following is courtesy of the USDA Forest Service:

Forest Service Chief Moore announces new regional forester for the Alaska Region

Release Date: Apr 26, 2024

JUNEAU, Alaska (April 26, 2024) – USDA Forest Service Chief Randy Moore announced today the appointment of Chad VanOrmer as the regional forester for the Alaska Region. 

As regional forester, VanOrmer oversees management of the two national forests in Alaska. He will support a team of about 650 employees responsible for stewarding more than 22 million acres of national forests in Alaska.   

“Chad’s experience in and knowledge about Alaska, including his time as deputy regional forester, makes him the ideal leader for the region. His dedication to conservation and land management, combined with his exceptional leadership strength, makes him well fit to address the opportunities and challenges there,” said Forest Service Chief Randy Moore. “Chad’s commitment to collaboration and his skill in engaging diverse groups are key strengths and he is the right person at the right time to lead the Alaska Region.”    

VanOrmer started his Forest Service career more than 20 years ago in the Tongass National Forest. Although originally from the East Coast, he has spent the bulk of his career working in Alaska. 

He moved to the state in 2001 as a recreation planner for the Craig Ranger District. While there, VanOrmer gained valuable experience in building relationships with communities, government, nonprofit, and tribal organizations to further mutual interests in managing public lands.

His Forest Service journey took him back to his old stomping grounds on the eastern seaboard for a few years, but VanOrmer was attracted back to Alaska in 2010 and has been here ever since. 

VanOrmer has served as the deputy regional forester since 2022. He spent 2017 – 2020 as the region’s director of Ecosystem Planning and Budget and prior to that was the district ranger for Admiralty Island National Monument and Hoonah. 

“I am beyond excited to help lead the remarkable Forest Service employees of the Alaska Region and continue our important work here,” said VanOrmer. “I am especially honored to be collaborating with the tribes, communities, partners and the people of Alaska as we seek opportunities together, share a joint vision of a sustainable Alaska, and strengthen our relationships along the way.”

VanOrmer will begin the position immediately. He has served in an acting role since succeeding Acting Regional Forester Janelle Crocker in March. Crocker has returned to her permanent position as a deputy regional forester for the Forest Service Eastern Region. Crocker had served as acting regional forester since October 2023 following the retirement of Regional Forester David Schmid.  

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages the 193 million acres of National Forest System land, provides stewardship assistance to non-federal forest landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.  

 For more information about the U.S. Forest Service visit  


USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.