Jan. 14, 2016—COLLEGE STATION, Texas— Providing leadership and service to Texans in all areas of forestry earned an 18-year Texas A&M Forest Service employee the honor of receiving the Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for Public Service in Forestry Thursday.

    Central Texas Operations Department Head Jim Rooni received the award during the annual Texas A&M AgriLife Conference held at Texas A&M University’s flagship campus in College Station.

    Rooni has managed complex agency responses to a number of natural disasters including leading the recovery of the Lost Pines area following the Bastrop County Complex fire in 2011, which killed almost two million trees. During this time, he organized twelve public, private and non-profit organizations into one cohesive group, The Lost Pines Recovery Team. As a result, more than three million seedlings have been planted within the Bastrop County Complex fire footprint.

    “The success of the restoration would not have happened without Jim’s leadership skills. In my 35-year career, I’ve not seen anyone better at building relationships and leveraging the resources of our collaborators,” said Texas A&M Forest Service Associate Director Bill Oates.

    Rooni’s commitment to service and conservation extends to his work in developing self-sustaining urban forestry programs and leading the way in the management and suppression of the devastating oak wilt disease, the most serious threat to forest health in Central Texas. Also notable is his work in protecting and restoring the unique ponderosa pine species around the Davis and Guadalupe mountains; and reforesting areas devastated by the Blanco River flooding in spring 2015.

    “Excellence is precisely the word to describe everything Jim touches, along with a real touch of class and grace. The past few years have put him to the test, but he has not only succeeded, but flourished in his service to the people of Texas,” Texas A&M Forest Service Director Tom Boggus said.

    The Award in Excellence for Public Service in Forestry is one of 17 awards presented each year by the Vice Chancellor for Agriculture and Life Sciences as a way to recognize and celebrate the commitment and contributions made by those working under the umbrella of Texas A&M AgriLife.

    The forestry award is presented each year to someone who consistently goes above and beyond, making exceptional contributions and displaying exceptional commitment to Texas A&M Forest Service’s mission.


    Texas A&M Forest Service Communications
    979-458-6606, newsmedia@tfs.tamu.edu