Forest Landowners Association (FLA) applauds the confirmation of Aurelia Skipwith as Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This is a crucial position for understanding how complex wildlife issues impact the public sector, and her placement comes with support from organizations reflecting a broad array of companies –private forestland owners, pulp, paper and wood products manufacturers, and others involved in the forest products industry.

Working Closely With Private Landowners

In recent statements, Skipwith detailed that “It will be a priority of mine to work closely with private landowners… that our decisions as stewards of public resources are mutually beneficial to trust species, the land owners and the American public.”

Through meetings with FLA leadership and staff, Skipwith has expressed strong support for protecting private property rights, and shown interest in working on voluntary cooperative conservation efforts that support wildlife, air & water quality and jobs.

USFWS and Forest Landowners Association

“FLA is eager to serve as a resource to Skipwith concerning landowners who are stewards of America’s private forests, private forest management issues, and the deep legacy of generations who represent sustainable forest ownership.” stated Scott Jones, Forest Landowners Association CEO.

Skipwith previously served as the Department of Interior’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. She holds degrees in biology, microbiology, and law. She formerly worked at the agrochemical company, Monsanto. She is the first African-American to lead the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees the Endangered Species Act and the management of federal wildlife refuges.