The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents on Friday named two veteran foresters as seconds in command of Texas Forest Service.
Bill Oates was named as associate director for Forest Resource Development and Sustainable Forestry, the division dedicated to promoting the health of trees and forests across the state. Oates has worked for the agency for nearly 30 years, serving most recently as interim associate director.
Mark Stanford was named as associate director for Forest Resource Protection, the division tasked with responding to wildfires and other disasters, statewide. Stanford has worked for the agency for more than 32 years, most recently as fire operations chief.
Stanford and Oates both were selected following a national search conducted jointly by Texas Forest Service, Texas Forestry Association and State Firemen’s and Fire Marshals’ Association of Texas. Their names were then submitted to the regents for review. Both are filling positions that have been vacant for several years.
Texas Forest Service Director and State Forester Tom Boggus praised the appointments, calling the pair a “natural fit.”
“They know Texas, they know our agency, and they’re both dedicated to serving the people of Texas,” Boggus said, congratulating the pair. “It’s not just a job that you come to every day for them; they’ve committed their lives to this agency.”
A state agency operating under the umbrella of the A&M System, Texas Forest Service is tasked with protecting the state’s trees, forests and related natural resources.
Both Oates and Stanford have served as active members of various community and industry associations throughout their careers. Stanford also has received many awards including the Texas A&M University System Regents Fellow designation in 2005 and a NASA Public Service Medal in 2003.
“It’s wonderful to have two long-time foresters join the leadership team. I’m confident that they will continue the outstanding work of the Texas Forest Service across our state,” said Mark A. Hussey, vice chancellor and dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences.