Originally from Anniston and a graduate of Walter Wellborn High School, Pate received his Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management in 1981 from Auburn University. He began his career as a contractor with forestry consultants. Then in 1988, he joined the North Carolina Forest Service spending the next 25 years in various capacities including forest management, fire suppression, as well as nursery and genetics. He served as Regional Forester for five years in the Coastal Plain Region. The culmination of his career in North Carolina came in 2012 when he was named as that state’s ninth State Forester. Currently a registered forester in both Alabama and North Carolina, Pate also holds the distinction of being one of only a few people who have held the position of State Forester in two states.
The new State Forester credits his wife Mary in playing an integral part of his forestry career. They and their three children are heavily involved in church, community, and school activities.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with a great agency like the Alabama Forestry Commission and appreciate the confidence placed in me by the Commissioners and Governor Bentley,” said Pate. “Along with our over 250 employees statewide, I will continue to work with our landowners and forest industry, as well as other natural resources agencies and organizations to ensure that Alabama’s forest resource remains a top economic driver in the state.”
The mission of the Alabama Forestry Commission is to protect and sustain Alabama’s forest resources using professionally applied stewardship principals and education, ensuring that the state’s forests contribute to abundant timber and wildlife, clean air and water, and a healthy economy. To learn more about the AFC, visit www.forestry.alabama.gov.