It seems that for this Halloween, actor and former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will not be dressed up as one of his more popular roles. Instead, the man in front of the camera in Terminator and Conan the Barbarian will be decked out in the uniform of the US Forest Service (USFS). On October 30, Schwarzenegger was named by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) as an honorary ranger. The former bodybuilder was inducted into the service along with actress Betty White and Rolling Stones musician Chuck Leavell.
“Not to diminish bodybuilding, acting, or governing, but we’re pretty sure that this will be the toughest post you will ever love,” joked USFS Chief Tom Tidwell.
Schwarzenegger was chosen for the honor because of his efforts to protect California’s natural resources and in addressing climate change. In return, the former governor also praised the work of the Service, especially in the state of California.
“I have always known the kind of great work the US Forest Service is doing. But when I became governor of California, [I saw] firsthand the kind of devastating fires we have in California,” he said. “I also have seen what climate change has done. We used to have a fire season, which was in the summer and the fall. Eventually this [included] spring and now there is fire all year long.”
Since completing his tenure as governor, Schwarzenegger has founded nonprofit organizations and institutes with the goal of reducing waste production and lowering carbon emissions.
“We look forward to having your help in educating communities on the devastating impacts of climate change on our forests and grasslands,” said Tidwell at the ceremony.
Schwarzenegger responded that the honor “truly touches my heart.”
Images courtesy Bob Nichols/US Department of Agriculture