Family, Finances Prompted Withdrawal

"President Obama's nominee to lead the Forest Service and farmland conservation programs says he withdrew his name from consideration for family and financial reasons.

Homer Lee Wilkes, the Mississippi state conservationist and a 28-year veteran of the U.S. Agriculture Department's Natural Resources Conservation Service, was nominated in May as Agriculture undersecretary for natural resources and environment. The post directs the Forest Service and conservation projects at NRCS.

But Wilkes withdrew his name this week, telling E&E in an interview that he made the choice for personal reasons. He has two sons in high school, a junior and a senior, and decided he did not want to uproot the family and move to Washington now. After much prayer and consideration, he said, 'We decided as a family ... we decided it might be best I not do that at this particular time.'"

Noelle Straub reports for Greenwire in the New York Times June 9, 2009.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009