Forest Service holds off hiring amid budget squeeze

By Marc Heller | 07/03/2024 01:48 PM EDT

Chief Randy Moore said the agency will rein in external hiring, rescinding some pending job offers for non-fire-related positions.

Forest Service Chief Randy Moore testifies during a Senate Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.

Forest Service Chief Randy Moore, seen here testifying on Capitol Hill last year, said in a recent memo to employees, "We must implement tighter controls on both internal and external hiring." Mariam Zuhaib/AP

The Forest Service is scaling back hiring and in some cases rescinding pending job offers due to budget constraints, the agency said.

As many as 350 pending job offers for positions not directly tied to fighting wildfire may be withdrawn, the Forest Service said, and future hiring through the bipartisan infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act will be more tightly controlled through Chief Randy Moore’s office.

In a June 27 memo to employees, later posted on the agency’s website, Moore cited a tight budget for the current fiscal year, in which Congress cut spending across federal departments. But he also noted a more optimistic scenario: The Forest Service isn’t losing as many employees to normal attrition as it would typically expect and thus doesn’t have as many slots to fill.


“To stay within budget and continue to deliver on our core mission, we must implement tighter controls on both internal and external hiring,” Moore said.