Mark Rey

Mark Rey, former timber industry lobbyist, was the undersecretary for natural resources and agriculture in the federal government of the United States under the Bush administration. He was sworn in as the undersecretary for natural resources and environment by the Agriculture Secretary, Ann M. Veneman on October 2, 2001. His duty was to monitor the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service and Natural Resource Conservation Service.[1]


Mark Rey is from Canton, Ohio. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife management, a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry, and also a Master of Science degree in natural resource policy and administration, all of his degrees come from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.[2]


In 1994, Rey became Chief of Staff to Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho). From 1995 to 2001 he served as a staff member with the United States Senate Committee on Energy Resources. Mark was the committee’s lead staff person for work on the national forest policy and USFS Administration. In this position he was directly involved almost all legislation dealing with the United States Forest Service (USFS) with an important responsibility for several public lands bills. He had a major role in the proposed 1997 revisions to the National Forest Management Act, which would have made timber harvest levels mandatory while rendering environmental standards unenforceable.

Rey was the key author of the 1995 "Salvage Rider" which was attached to the "must pass" Congressional budget bill containing financial aid for victims of the domestic terrorism Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building. The "rider" suspended all environmental protections (such as the Endangered Species Act) allowing environmentally irresponsible "salvage" harvests, which in many cases included logging of healthy green old-growth timber under the guise of protecting "forest health," in the Pacific Northwest.[3][4]

From 1992 to 1994 as the Vice President of Forest Resources for the American Forest and Paper Association, he pushed to eliminate public appeals to the USFS decision-making process because he felt it was being abused by environmental groups. Throughout his career, he has opposed setting aside reserves for endangered species, while advocating logging quotas for old-growth forests, the imposition of fees for recreational use, and limiting public participation Forest Service planning. In February, 2008, Rey was threatened with jail by federal judge Donald Molloy of Missoula for contempt of court. Rey had been ordered to have the Forest Service evaluate the environmental impacts of air-dropped ammonium phosphate fire retardants that are known to harm fish. Rey initially refused to comply with the order, but agreed to cooperate only when faced with the prospect of prison time.

History in the timber industry

  • 1992-1992 Vice President, Forest Resources for the American Forest and Paper Association
  • 1989-1992 Executive Director of the American Forest Resources Alliance
  • 1984-1989 Vice President, Forest Programs for the National Forest Products Association
  • 1976-1984 Several positions for the American Paper Institute/National Forest Products Assoc.[5]


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