“I am elated to have Earl serving here in Alaska,” said Pendleton. “Stewart is the perfect choice to lead the Tongass National Forest. He brings a wide range of experience and leadership to this position and has a great understanding of the unique relationships that communities have with their national forests which will suit Alaskans well.”
Stewart comes to Alaska from the U.S. Forest Service’s Southwestern Region, and is the Forest Supervisor for the Coconino National Forest based in Flagstaff, Arizona. He has provided leadership on a series of high profile issues including the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Area litigation, and the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project among other complex issues and programs.
Stewart graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology in 1985 and worked for the Oklahoma's Department of Wildlife Conservation as a biologist. He joined the Forest Service in 1991 and has had the opportunity to serve in a variety of positions on six national forests in three different regions before coming to the Tongass.
Earl’s career has spanned across the nation serving as Acting Deputy Regional Forester in the Southwestern Region, Deputy Forest Supervisor of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in Montana, Branch Chief for Strategic Planning and Budget Analysis in the Washington Office, and District Ranger on the Talladega National Forest in Alabama. He also served in the House of Representatives, Committee for Interior Appropriations as a legislative fellow in Washington, D.C.
“I’m excited to join the Alaska Region and begin taking on the responsibilities as the Tongass Forest Supervisor,” said Stewart. “I welcome the opportunity to serve the 33 communities within the Tongass and work with the businesses, organizations and partners that provide services and adventures for a lifetime. I look to embrace our relations with Alaska Native Tribes and Alaskan Natives and personally get to know the dedicated Forest Service employees here in Alaska.”
Stewart replaces Forrest Cole, Forest Supervisor since 2003 who will retire after a 40-year career with the U.S. Forest Service.