TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson recognized the distinguished career of retiring State Forester and Director of the Florida Forest Service, Erin Albury. Albury began his career with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Florida Forest Service in 1997 and has served as Director and State Forester since 2020. Assistant Director Johnny Sabo will serve as Interim Director.
“The Florida Forest Service has a critical mission to protect Floridians and preserve our state’s natural resources, and I thank Erin for faithfully serving the Florida Forest Service and the state for more than 25 years,” said Commissioner Wilton Simpson. “I appreciate Erin’s steadfast leadership and tireless dedication to defending our communities and natural spaces, and I wish him well in retirement.”
Johnny Sabo joined the Florida Forest Service in 2004 as the Calhoun and Liberty County Forester. Sabo was promoted to Operations Administrator before becoming the Chipola Forestry Center Manager. In 2017, Sabo advanced to the State Office as the Forest Management Bureau Chief before serving as the Field Operations Bureau Chief. Sabo was named Assistant Director in February 2020. Sabo received his bachelor’s degree in forest resource management from Clemson University and has 18 years of experience with the management of Florida’s public and private forests, prescribed fire, and wildfire suppression.
The Florida Forest Service is the largest division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, with more than 1,200 employees. The Florida Forest Service works to protect and manage the forest resources of Florida, ensuring that they will be available for future generations. The Florida Forest Service manages over 1 million acres of state forests for multiple public uses, including timber, recreation, and wildlife habitat. It also offers technical information and grant programs to landowners to help them improve their forestland. Through wildfire prevention and suppression, the Florida Forest Service works to protect homeowners from the threat wildfire.