Hoosier National Forest names new District Ranger


New District Ranger, Chris Thornton, begins his new role October 10, 2021.

TELL CITY, Ind. (WEHT) – Forest Supervisor, Mike Chaveas, recently announced the selection of Chris Thornton to fill the District Ranger position for the Hoosier National Forest.  Thornton has been with the Forest Service for over 25 years, with almost 19 of those serving at the Hoosier National Forest.

”I’ve known Chris to be a tremendous leader on the Forest, and I’m excited to have him stepping into this line officer role where I’m sure he’ll continue to apply his optimistic, positive style of leadership,” Chaveas says, “I’ve known Chris to lead with heart, can-do spirit, and to always be focused on doing the right thing for the resources, the publics we serve and the employees who get it all done every day.”

Thornton attended Purdue University and started his career as a timber marker on the Hiawatha National Forest in Michigan’s upper peninsula. He worked as a forester at Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest, and did a stint in private industry until landing his first permanent Forest Service position coordinating projects under the National Environmental Policy Act.  Missing forestry field work, he eventually came to the Hoosier state as a forester, became a certified silviculturist, and was eventually promoted to Ecosystem Program Manager where he oversaw the bulk of the natural resource management work done.  

“I’m very excited and extremely humbled to be the next District Ranger.  I’ll follow in the footsteps of many great leaders and I’m looking forward to continuing the implementation of the Forest Plan while taking advantage of many new funding opportunities like the Great American Outdoors Act,” said Thorton, “I’m fortunate to have a talented and passionate workforce to help complete projects that will make your Hoosier National Forest one of the best in the country.”

As District Ranger, he will oversee the ecosystems, recreation, engineering, lands and minerals, fire, archaeology and geographic information systems programs for the forest.

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