Charles F. “Chuck” Sams III was ceremonially sworn in as Director of theService ( ) by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today, as per a release of the .
Chuck is the first tribal citizen to lead the agency, which has been without a senate-confirmed leader for nearly five years.
“Everyone should have access to theno matter where they live, how much money they have, or what their background is. Chuck Sams understands the importance of connecting people to nature, and I am thrilled to work with him as the works to make our system to all Americans,” said Secretary Haaland. “Under his leadership, the Service will continue to protect our public lands for generations to come and make critical investments in the vast that sustains our public lands and national .”
“I am honored to serve as director of theService and thank President Biden and Secretary Haaland for entrusting in me the care of one of America’s greatest gifts: our System. I am also incredibly proud to work with the dedicated employees of the Service. I have no doubt that together, we’ll be able to expand access to the , protect America’s public lands, and upgrade our nation’s system through the Bipartisan Law,” said Director Sams.
Chuck will help implement the Great American GAOA) and the Bipartisan Law.Act (
In addition to historic funding for climate resiliency initiatives and legacy pollution clean-up, thelaw provides a five-year reauthorization of the Federal Lands Transportation Program, which will help invest in repairing and upgrading roads, bridges, trails, and transit systems.
Moreover, the law supports projects that will help fund bridge replacements and resiliency, repair ferry boats and terminal facilities, and maintain wildlife crossings that keep people and surrounding wildlife safe.
The new Oregon Governor Kate Brown.director has worked in state and tribal governments and the non-profit natural resource and conservation management fields for more than 25 years. He most recently served as a council member to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, appointed by
He has held various roles with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian, most recently as their executive director.
Sams also served as the Indian Country Conservancy’s President/Chief Executive Officer and Umatilla Tribal Community Foundation’s Executive Director. Additionally, he fulfilled the roles of National Director of the Tribal & Native Lands Program for the Trust for Public Land, Executive Director for the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Executive Director for the Community Energy Project, and President/Chief Executive Officer for the Earth Conservation Corps.
Chuck holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Concordia University-Portland and a Master of Legal Studies in Indigenous peoples law from the University of Oklahoma. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Chuck is an enrolled member, Cayuse and Walla Walla, of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian , where he lives with his wife and their four children.