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Former California Governor Schwarzenegger Cited for Work on Climate Change, Named Honorary US Forest Service Ranger

(left to right) Chief Tom Tidwell, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Smokey Bear at today’s ceremony. (Photo by Bob Nichols, USDA)

(left to right) Chief Tom Tidwell, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Smokey Bear at today’s ceremony. (Photo by Bob Nichols, USDA)

Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger received a U.S. Forest Service badge and jacket during a special ceremony in Washington, D.C., naming him an Honorary Forest Ranger for his work on climate change issues.

“I know you understand what we need to do as a nation to reduce the level of carbon in the atmosphere — after all, you have helped lead the way,” U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said to Schwarzenegger during the ceremony at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “We look forward to having your help in educating communities on the devastating impacts of climate change on our forests and grasslands.”

Schwarzenegger said the honor “truly touches my heart” and expressed high praise for the agency and highlighted his respect for the thousands of Forest Service firefighters, especially as climate change effects have contributed to hotter, longer fire seasons.

“I have always known the kind of great work the U.S. Forest Service is doing. But when I became governor of California, (I saw) firsthand the kind of devastating fires we have in California,” he said. “I also have seen what climate change has done. We used to have a fire season, which was in the summer and the fall. Eventually this (included) spring and now there is fire all year long.”

He said that Forest Service firefighters are “without a doubt the best firefighters in the world.”

“And it was like a sport team,” he said. “When a mistake was made there was never any finger pointing. You just got together and figured out how to work even better together. And because of that they were better able to do their jobs… and this is why I became such a fan.”

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was named an Honorary Forest Ranger today during a ceremony at the USDA Whitten Building (Photo by Bob Nichols, USDA)

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was named an Honorary Forest Ranger today during a ceremony at the USDA Whitten Building (Photo by Bob Nichols, USDA)

Since his birth in Austria, Schwarzenegger has transformed himself into a world-class body builder, an American citizen (1968), an actor and public servant. He also serves as chairman of the After School All-Stars, a nationwide after-school program, and has served as chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

What some people may not realize is that he has an established record of working to ensure the viability of natural resources worldwide.

As governor, he signed into law landmark legislation, the Global Warming Solutions Act, putting California at the forefront in the fight against climate change. He set the state on a course of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. California is well on its way to meetings its targets through a ground-breaking mix of measures, including a low carbon fuel standard, a renewable energy portfolio, and a cap-and-trade program. Schwarzenegger as governor also approved tough new vehicle fuel economy standards that have since been adopted at the national level.

Since leaving office in 2011, Schwarzenegger has continued to champion the need to address climate change. He cofounded the R20 — the Regions of Climate Action. The R20 is a global nonprofit dedicated to problem solving by sub national governments, like the states and counties here in the United States. The R20 helps governments develop projects to lower carbon emissions and to make forests and other ecosystems more resilient—more able to recover from the impacts of climate change.

Chief Tom Tidwell presents former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with a Forest Service jacket.  Schwarzenegger was named an honorary forest ranger during a ceremony today at the USDA Whitten Building. (Photo by Bob Nichols, USDA)

Chief Tom Tidwell presents former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with a Forest Service jacket. Schwarzenegger was named an honorary forest ranger during a ceremony today at the USDA Whitten Building. (Photo by Bob Nichols, USDA)

He most recently met with the Prime Minister of Algeria to sign a 3-year agreement to establish an R20 office that will advise Algerian states on solar energy projects, waste reduction and waste energy projects. In August 2012, the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy was launched by the University of Southern California. An upcoming Showtime documentary on climate change directed by James Cameron will feature Schwarzenegger in a segment on forests.

“For all of these reasons, we’ve chosen the ‘Austrian Oak’ as an honorary forest ranger with the Forest Service,” Tidwell said. “Not to diminish bodybuilding, acting, or governing, but we’re pretty sure that this will be the toughest post you will ever love.”

Schwarzenegger joins actress Betty White and keyboardist Chuck Leavell as honorary forest rangers. White has a long-standing dedication to protecting wilderness and wildlife. She said that in her heart, “I’ve been a forest ranger all of my life.” Leavell, keyboard player for the Rolling Stones, lives sustainability every day as a tree farm owner in Georgia.

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was named an Honorary Forest Ranger today during a ceremony at the USDA Whitten Building. Pictured are (right to left) Leo Kay, Director, Forest Service Office of Communication; Thomas Tidwell, Chief, U.S. Forest Service; Undersecretary Robert Bonnie; Deputy Undersecretary Arthur (Butch) Blazer, and former Governor Schwarzenegger (Photo by Bob Nichols, USDA)

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was named an Honorary Forest Ranger today during a ceremony at the USDA Whitten Building. Pictured are (right to left) Leo Kay, Director, Forest Service Office of Communication; Thomas Tidwell, Chief, U.S. Forest Service; Undersecretary Robert Bonnie; Deputy Undersecretary Arthur (Butch) Blazer, and former Governor Schwarzenegger (Photo by Bob Nichols, USDA)

3 Responses to “Former California Governor Schwarzenegger Cited for Work on Climate Change, Named Honorary US Forest Service Ranger”

  1. Andy Stahl says:

    On March 1, 2013, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell issued an anti-harassment memo to all FS employees:

    “I reiterate my strong commitment to maintaining a harassment-free and respectful workplace. Harassment or discrimination in any form will not be tolerated in the Forest Service.”

    His memo explains that “Sexual harassment is behavior of a sexual nature that is unwelcome and offensive to the person or persons it is targeted toward. Examples of harassing behavior may include unwanted physical contact . . .”

    Today, Chief Tidwell made confessed sexual harasser Arnold Schwarzenegger an “honorary forest ranger.”

    Why? Perhaps because Leo Kay is the Forest Service’s director of communications. Here’s what Leo was before 2010:

    “Leo spent the previous three years as a political appointment to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Communications Director for the state’s landmark climate change program.”

  2. Friedrich HO says:

    good

  3. Ryan says:

    I think an evaluation of what %age of the foodservice spend was with companies in DFW and Texas would be appropriate. This is all feel-good stuff but if you are not Advance Brands, Tyson or the like DISD want very little to do with you company. If DISD want to support local communities it needs truly consider local companies.

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