State Forester and Deputy State Forester

Scott Phillips

Scott Phillips - State Forester

Scott Phillips became State Forester Jan. 2, 2018. As the agency head, he works with a nine-member board appointed by the governor to set agency policy and direction. He represents the Forestry Commission and forestry interests at the state government level as well as regionally and nationally.

A native of Millen, Ga., Phillips started with the agency in 1999 as a forester on Manchester State Forest, then served as a BMP Forester in the Pee Dee region from July 2000 to Nov. 2002. He was the Forest Analyst for the state forest system from Nov. 2002 - Oct. 2007 before moving to the Assistant Forest Director at Manchester for four months.

Phillips moved to the agency’s headquarters in Feb. 2008 to serve as the Rural Forestry Programs Manager, where he coordinated the Forest Renewal Program (FRP) and Stewardship program for the Commission until his selection as State Forester. Scott also serves as the Plans Section Chief on the Commission’s Incident Management Team, the only Type 2 team in the state.
An avid deer and turkey hunter, Scott is also the youngest State Forester in South Carolina history, taking office at age 43. He lives in Camden with his wife Lori.​


Tom Patton - Deputy State Forester

Tom PattonTom Patton became the Deputy State Forester for South Carolina on January 2, 2013 and is responsible for all regional operations, forest management and forest protection programs.  A graduate of NC State University with a BS in Forestry and MS in Economics, Tom has more than 28 years of experience in both the public and private sectors.  He began his career in forest industry providing management assistance to landowners.

Tom’s SC Forestry Commission career began in 2000 and since that time he has served in a number capacities including:  Area Forester, State Lands Liaison, Best Management Practices (BMP) Forester, and for six years prior to becoming Deputy State Forester, he was the agency’s Piedmont Regional Forester.

Tom is a SC Registered Forester, a Society of American Foresters’ Certified Forester, and a SC Certified Public Manager.  He is an active member in, and has held leadership positions, in the Society of American Foresters, the SC Forestry Association, the Lexington County Forestry Association, and the American Tree Farm System.  He’s a recipient of both the South Carolina and Southern Regional Tree Farm Inspector awards.

Tom is a third generation forester, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father.  He’s married, has two daughters and lives in Irmo, SC.



Contact them at: (803)896-8800 or (803)896-8861, by email, or fax at (803)798-8097.




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