Obama pick to oversee forests withdraws

Published 11:55 pm Saturday, June 6, 2009

President Barack Obama’s pick to oversee the nation’s forests has withdrawn his nomination.

Homer Lee Wilkes was nominated on May 5 as undersecretary of agriculture, a position that would have put him in charge of the U.S. Forest Service and the National Resource Conservation Service. The White House never sent his nomination to the Senate.

White House spokesman Shin Inouye said Saturday that Wilkes has withdrawn his name for personal reasons.

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Wilkes was a 28-year veteran of the Natural Resources and Conservation Service and state conservationist in Mississippi.

Inouye says the president has not picked a replacement.