Mark Rey

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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]


History in the timber industry[edit]

From 1976 through 1984 he held several positions for the American Paper Institute/National Forest Products Assoc.[3] For 1984 through 1989 he was Vice President for Forest Programs of the National Forest Products Association. For 1989 through 1992 he was Executive Director of the American Forest Resources Alliance. And in 1992 he was Vice President, Forest Resources for the American Forest and Paper Association.


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 "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.[4][5]

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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.

Post-Undersecretarial Career[edit]

While continuing to work as a consulting lobbyist, Rey has wholeheartedly embraced a career as an educator at Michigan State University since 2009. The field of his teaching focuses on advocacy in the area of natural resources policy.[6] Rey has made extensive use of connections obtained during his political career to enrich the lives of those around him, especially students involved in the Demmer Scholars Program. The Demmer Scholars program is a joint internship and class arrangement between Michigan State University and Mississippi State University facilitated by Rey. The program places students in coveted positions within federal natural resources agencies or non-governmental organizations (both nonprofit and for profit) operating in the natural resources policy arena in Washington, D.C. The Program brings participants into contact with notable figures (including Supreme Court Justices, White House officials, journalists, and eminent conservationists) through a series of excursions and topical discussions that would not be possible without his tireless work and willingness to draw upon connections established throughout his career.


  1. ^ [1] retrieved 25 Oct 2007
  2. ^ [2] retrieved 25 Oct 2007
  3. ^ [3] retrieved 1 Nov 2007
  4. ^ High Country News, September 6, 1996
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Mark Rey". Retrieved 22 July 2015.