Chip Weber, the Forest Supervisor for the Flathead National Forest, has announced his plans to retire on January 01, 2020 after a thirty-three-year career that has taken him to four different regions of the forest service and seven different national forests. He has served the Flathead National Forest for nine years during which time the forest has been successful in meeting the multiple-use mission through an integrated program of work, community partnerships and the dedication of employees across the forest.
“The Forest Service’s motto is ‘caring for the land and serving people,’ and Chip’s distinguished career reflects that commitment and service,” said Regional Forester Leanne Marten. “I want to congratulate Chip on his upcoming retirement, and thank him for his dedication to his employees, communities and partners.”
Born and raised in New Jersey, Weber spent a lot of time camping in Upstate New York and New England where the joy he found in the outdoors led to his career choice. He earned a bachelor’s degree in forest management from Oregon State University and a master’s degree in forest ecology and silviculture from the University of Washington.
Weber started his Forest Service career in 1987 on an ecology crew in Oregon. From there he expanded his experience to include botany, forestry, silviculture, biology and fire all setting him up perfectly for his next step into the natural resource specialist position on the Hoosier National Forest in Indiana. After the Hoosier, he moved back west where he spent the next nine years in two district ranger assignments, the first on the Wrangell Ranger district on the Tongass National Forest in Alaska and then the Middle Fork district on the Willamette National Forests in Oregon. Over his thirty-three-year career he also worked as director of forest management in Alaska, threatened and endangered species coordinator in the Eastern Region of the Forest Service, and worked in the Washington, D.C., headquarters budget office.
Weber’s time with the Forest Service has taken him all over the country, but when the Forest Supervisor position came open on the Flathead National Forest in 2010 Weber knew he wanted Montana to be his last, best place for public service.
Reflecting on his career, Weber said, “I’m incredibly thankful for the amount of time I’ve been able to spend in northwest Montana during my career, I’m especially proud of all of the work we’ve been able to accomplish through the help of everyone in the community and our hard-working employees on the Flathead National Forest.”
Always open to new experiences Weber is ready for his next adventure. He is looking forward to continuing his outdoor pursuits of hunting, fishing and golfing, and spending more time with family and friends in retirement. A new forest supervisor is expected to be in place by the time Weber retires.