Meet a Forester, Frank H. McCormick

This month, we are pleased to feature Frank H. McCormick, Ph.D., Acting Station Director for the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station.  


What was your first position in the field of forestry?

I joined the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research and Development as a research ecologist in the Bioassessment and Ecotoxicology Branch in Cincinnati, Ohio.

How long have you been in your role?

Although I have been with the Forest Service for 20 years, and with the Rocky Mountain Research Station for 15 years, I’ve only been the Acting Station Director since April 2023.

What do you enjoy most about being a Western Forestry Leadership Coalition (WFLC) member?

I attended my first WFLC meeting in May 2023 and was intrigued by the span of issues confronting the state forests. I’d had opportunities to connect with my colleagues in the USFS regions and stations, but the meeting in Boise was my first opportunity to hear the concerns of all of the western states.

What do you see to be the emerging issues in your region?

My background is entirely in aquatic ecology and watershed disturbance, so I naturally lean to the effects of climate change and the extreme variability western watersheds are experiencing because of it. From water quality effects following wildfires, to water shortages caused by extreme drought or increasing human demands, to restoration efforts aimed at establishing more climate-resilient source waters, I cannot think of a more urgent science-management issue.

What is your favorite tree?

Coastal Redwood, Sequoia sempervirens. I grew up with those trees.