Obama’s Forest Service Nominee Withdraws

[Homer Lee Wilkes, ]President Obama's nominee to lead the Forest Service and farmland conservation programs[,] has withdrawn his name from consideration. . . for personal reasons. . . .

Conservation advocates were pleased with his nomination, noting that he had worked in Mississippi to forge key partnerships with state agencies and conservation groups on wetlands conservation. They said placing a career conservation-service employee could elevate the visibility of USDA's often overlooked role in conservation programs. Forest groups generally praised his nomination, although some said it concerned them that Wilkes did not have a forestry background . . . .