The N.C. Forest Service has a new regional forester for the Piedmont. Kevin Harvell takes over for Mike Hendricks, who retired this year with 36 years of service.
Harvell said he admires Hendricks’ work ethic and dedication to the NCFS, and intends to carry on with the great work Hendricks was doing. Harvell also said he’s looking forward to working with what he considers the best regional and district staff in the NCFS. The region encompasses a wide swath of central North Carolina, ranging from Surry County at its most northwestern point, to Cumberland County in the southeast.
Harvell admits to being a little nervous about the unknown and the “exponential increase in the email load” that accompanies his new position. His goals are to work with his staff to provide great customer service to North Carolinians, to increase the use of prescribed fire as an ecological and fire prevention tool, and to provide information and education to the public. The last of these goals also fits in with one of his personal passions, which is working with the Boy Scouts.
“I’m very active with the Boy Scouts,” Harvell said. “I can see how the North Carolina Forest Service can have a relationship with the Scouts, taking a leadership role in helping to teach the younger generation.”
Harvell also plans on being a strong advocate for the field personnel to try and create a seamless transition up and down the chain of command. He understands the importance of this from his many years in the field. After graduating from N.C. State University in 1996, he went to work in the Mount Holly District as a service forester before becoming the county forester in Mecklenburg County two years later. Eventually, he became a water quality forester. Along the way, Harvell has worked as a district forester and an assistant regional forester before being promoted to his current position.
Harvell married his wife, Jennifer, in 1996, the same weekend as Hurricane Fran. They live in Asheboro with their two children: Garrett, 14, and Carson, 12, both ardent Boy Scouts and soccer players.