State Forestry Director announces retirement after 18 years

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV) – After 18 years as State Forester, Director Charles “Randy” Dye will retire from the West Virginia Division of Forestry on Monday, May 1.

Dye, a native of Parkersburg, earned a degree in forest management from West Virginia University and has worked in forestry since 1974. He was appointed West Virginia’s State Forester in 1999.

In 2005, he oversaw the reorganization of the Division of Forestry, which created an organizational structure that mirrored the division’s major programs. He also helped establish the Logging Sediment Control Program, which positioned foresters to regularly monitor licensed logging crews throughout the state. Dye also built on the division’s nationally recognized Investigation Unit, which uses bloodhounds to track suspects in wild land fire arson cases.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to have led the Division of Forestry these last 18 years,” Dye said. “I’ve enjoyed watching those I have hired and trained go on to succeed in their careers, and I am proud to say many have risen to responsible management positions.”

As West Virginia’s State Forester, Dye has been a member of the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) and recently completed two consecutive terms as its president. He is the first West Virginia state forester to serve in this capacity, and the second NASF president to have served two consecutive terms.

While president of NASF, Dye testified before Congressional Committees about important forestry issues. Dye also was president of the Northeast Area Association of State Foresters (NAASF), the NASF’s liaison to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the National Plant Board and Association of Consulting Foresters. He also was vice chair of the Forest Science and Health Committee.

“Randy’s commitment to West Virginia these last two decades should be commended,” said Department of Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher. “Not only has he represented our state nationally, he’s helped protect and manage forest resources all over West Virginia. I want to thank Randy for his service and wish him the best in retirement.”

In 2010, Dye received the “Two Chief’s Partnership Award,” from the Chiefs of the U.S. Forest Service and Natural Resource Conservation Service for the Division of Forestry’s collaborative efforts to protect and manage West Virginia’s forest resources on both private and public land. He currently represents the National Association of State Foresters on the Joint Forestry Team, which includes the Chiefs of the U.S. Forest Service and NRCS, and the president of National Association of Conservation Districts.