USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources & the Environment Harris Sherman to Retire

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USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources & the Environment, Harris Sherman

Harris Sherman has tendered his resignation after four years as Under Secretary for Natural Resources & the Environment at USDA. Mr. Sherman has been a friend to FPL in many ways.

Two of our fondest memories include the Under Secretary’s visits to FPL. During our centennial celebration in 2010, Mr. Sherman addressed a full house at the Centennial Research Facility and even sat in with The Fiddlin’ Foresters to fiddle his way through the traditional song Cripple Creek.

During the opening of the Nanocellulose Pilot Plant in 2012, Mr. Sherman again addressed a crowd and helped to celebrate the pilot plant’s grand opening.

During his time with USDA, Mr. Sherman has contributed much. A few highlights include:

–Conservation of vast landscapes and watersheds across our national forests as part of the President’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative.

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Harris Sherman, left, with FPL chemical engineer Rick Reiner at the Nanocellulose Pilot Plant grand opening, August 2012.

–Accelerated restoration of millions of acres within national forests to combat bark beetles, invasive species, and address climate variations which in turn will reduce the threat of wildfire.

–New public/private partnerships with water utilities, electric utilities, recreation interests, ski resorts, major corporations, and NGOs to assist in forest and watershed restoration.

–Protection of Native American sacred sites and comprehensive consultation with Tribes.

–Creation of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps to work with partners to connect thousands of young people to the outdoors through targeted internships and career opportunities.

–Collaborative efforts with diverse stakeholders reaching consensus on forest restoration, resulting in fewer appeals and less litigation.

–Streamlining the Forest Service permitting and environmental review systems, thereby reducing costs, eliminating inefficiencies, and improving environmental outcomes.

In a letter to Forest Service employees, Mr. Sherman wrote “The Forest Service has a well-deserved, proud reputation. Wherever I have traveled these past four years, I have heard of our good deeds, extra effort, and exceptional results. You have every reason to take pride in your role and contribution to caring for the land and serving people.”

We offer a hearty “Thank You” to Mr. Sherman and wish him well as he rides off into his beloved Colorado sunset, fiddle in hand and steady on the trail.