As the USDA reorganization starts to take shape farmers, ranchers, loggers and outdoors men are curious to see who will serve as the next Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. This role oversees the U.S. Forest Service and the Office of Environmental Markets.
This under secretary position many times is overlooked and those who are impacted by these entities are eager to find out who will now fill the role. As they could play a significant part in how the future of the Forest Service and other agencies impact rural Americans.
One name that is at the top of the list for the Montana Logging Association, livestock associations and members of congress to serve as the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment is Erica T. Rhoad.
Currently Rhoad works on Capitol Hill for the HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES as the Subcommittee Staff Director. Prior to this, she worked for the NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION, as a Federal Liaison in Washington DC.
Rhoad’s resume describes her career: “Fifteen years of experience in federal legislative policy and politics. Experienced and successful at thoughtfully advising, developing strategy, and achieving the goals of Members of Congress and congressional committees.”
Erica T. Rhoad
Members of congress have written to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue supporting Rhoad. Saying that “our nations forests provide numerous economic and environmental benefits. An important economic driver for rural communities, federal forests drive tourism and recreation as well as supply the forest products industry which provides goods used by virtually every American.”
The elected officials say that Erica Rhoad is the person to serve as the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment. Saying she has a deep understanding of the needs of federal forests, the forest industry and communities these forests support.
The Public Lands Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association endorsed Rhoad writing they “have worked extensively with Ms. Rhoad during her tenure with the House Committee on Natural Resources on a variety of issues and have always found her to be knowledgeable, helpful, and responsive. Her experience on Capitol Hill gives her firsthand knowledge and insight into the legislative process.”
They also write that “Ms. Rhoad grew up on a ranch in Colorado and her family has held grazing permits on both Forest Service and BLM allotments, giving her real-world experience with the issues our members face every day including grazing, water, invasive species, Endangered Species Act issues, the abuse of the Antiquities Act, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). PLC and NCBA believe that Ms. Rhoad’s personal and professional experience make her an ideal candidate to be the next Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment.”
Ethan Lane, the Executive Director of the PLC and the NCBA’s Federal Lands says that Rhoad “being from a Colorado ranch family she knows the struggles that rural America faces and she is a champion for the industry and rural America.”
The Montana Logging Association, NCBA and PLC would encourage farmers, ranchers, loggers, outdoorsmen and rural citizens to contact their elected officials to support Erica T. Rhoad as the next Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment.
To read Rhoad's resume and endorsement letters please click on the downloadable links below.
Picture: Colorado State University
2017 Northern Ag Network, NCBA,PLC and Montana Logging Association