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July 05, 2022
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Forestry Board Appoints New State Forester (Photo)
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Forestry Board Appoints New State Forester (Photo)

The Oregon Board of Forestry voted unanimously to appoint Cal Mukumoto as Oregon’s 14th state forester during special meeting today. Mukumoto will now work with the Department of Forestry’s Human Resources team on terms of his employment prior to determining a start date.

Mukumoto is a forester and management consultant from Coos Bay, Oregon. He earned a bachelor’s degree in forest management from Humboldt State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Washington. Mukumoto’s diverse leadership experiences span the public and private sector and include work in the fields of economic development, natural resource management, turnaround solutions, and biomass energy development. He has worked extensively with the Native American business community, serving on the boards of six Tribal enterprises.

Mukumoto served as chair of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission, vice-chair of the Oregon Board of Forestry, and as a member of the U.S. Board for the Forest Stewardship Council. He has also worked with local forest collaboratives, to include chairing the Metolius Multi-party Management Team for eight years. Mukumoto enjoys engaging with his community through his work volunteering for Southwestern Oregon Community College and participating on the board of trustees of Oregon Parks Forever. 

“Cal has demonstrated that he has what’s needed to be successful in this critical and complex role,” said Board Chair Jim Kelly. In addition to the State Forester’s statutory responsibilities related to protection and management of forestlands, they also serve as the board secretary and chief executive officer of the Department of Forestry. “I look forward to working closely with Cal and seeing where he will lead the department in the coming years.”

Mukumoto's appointment marks the conclusion of a months-long, nationwide process to find someone with the right mix of knowledge, skills, and attributes and who was ready to take on the challenges of being the leader of a government natural resources agency. 

In May, the board appointed Nancy Hirsch, who served in a number of executive leadership roles at the department before retiring in 2018, as the acting state forester. “I would be remiss if I did not thank Nancy for returning from retirement to lead the department for the past several months,” Kelly said. “The department’s performance under her leadership far exceeded expectations.” Hirsch will be on hand to help Mukumoto transition into the role.

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