The third man
The number three man
in the Forest Service, Deputy Chief James Overbay, has retired.
Overbay, a member of the agency's old guard, was replaced by Gray
Reynolds, regional forester for the Intermountain Region of
national forests in southern Idaho, Nevada, Utah and western
Wyoming. Environmental activists in the Intermountain Region were
not thrilled with the news. Brandon Fowler, president of Friends of
the Dixie National Forest in southern Utah, said, "I'm shocked. I
saw him as out of the old school. I saw him as the invisible hand
behind the chainsaw on the Dixie." George Nickas of the Utah
Wilderness Association said, "He's been a ghost. I don't think our
concerns - wildlife, wilderness management - were addressed at the
regional level." Denise Boggs of American Wildlands said, "Overall,
I'm real disappointed and real surprised. He has not been a leader
pushing for doing things differently. He's been silent." But Mike
Medberry, former head of the Idaho Conservation League, said, "In
general, he's a conservative administrator who defers to his staff.
He gave leeway to good folks in the regional office on ecosystem
Reynolds becomes one of six deputy
chiefs. But because he is deputy chief for the national forests, he
becomes the number three person in the agency after Chief Jack Ward
Thomas and Associate Chief David Unger.