Dear FORENT, FORPATH and FORCLIMAIR subscribers,
First, let me apologize for cluttering the inboxes of those of you not interested in IUFRO matters. I know these lists are well-used for other useful stuff, so if you are not interested in IUFRO you might want to delete this message right now...
To my IUFRO colleagues, I want to share some information about a shift in leadership that we anticipate here in Division 7, "Forest Health". I was honored to be selected to serve as coordinator of Division 7 and in August, 2010 I started my term in that position. However 9 months later I was notified by my employer, the USDA Forest Service that I must resign because USDA "ethics" officers revoked their approval and decided that my service in this role was "unethical" stating it would amount to an implicit endorsement of IUFRO by the USDA Forest Service. Personally, I disagreed with their assessment but I did not receive support for my service in IUFRO from US Forest Service headquarters and they insisted that I resign. We anticipated that this rule would be relaxed, but after over 1 year of waiting, that has not happened so among IUFRO leaders, we decided that the Division 7 coordinator position should not remain empty any longer.
It turns out that there is a very happy solution to this story, namely Dr. Ecki Brockerhoff from Scion (Forest Research Institute), New Zealand has agreed to take on the Division 7 coordinator position. Ecki is currently coordinator of IUFRO Research Group 7.03 "Entomology" and if Ecki's nomination is approved later this month by the IUFRO Board (I anticipate this will be the case), then he will become the new Division 7 coordinator, and I will switch back into Ecki's position as coordinator of Research Group 7.03. I'm sure many of you know Ecki and agree that he will make an excellent Division coordinator. Personally, I'm thrilled that he can do this.
I apologize for any confusion that this episode may have created. It is a source of personal embarrassment and it certainly does not make me proud of the USDA Forest Service. I want to thank all of the great people I've had a chance to work with during my very brief stint as Division Coordinator and I'm looking forward with great excitement to returning to serve as Entomology Research Group leader. Thanks!
Andrew Liebhold http://sandyliebhold.com
Northern Research Station 304-285-1512
USDA Forest Service 304-285-1505 FAX
180 Canfield St. 724-317-8668 mobile
Morgantown, WV 26505 USA
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