A career veteran of incident management in the forestry and forest fire services, Mike spent over nearly 40 years working in a variety of field and staff positions. Beginning his public service career as a Park Superintendent for the North Dakota Park Service in 1976, Mike served as a Forester and Fuels Management Specialist with the BLM in Eugene, Oregon from 1979 to 1988. From 1988 to 1998, Mike acted as the Fire Management Officer for the Bureau of Land Management in the Salem District and Siuslaw National Forest in Oregon before retiring as the Fire Chief and Forest Fire Management Officer in the San Bernardino National Forest from 1998 to 2009. He was also the ICS Project Manager for Southern California Edison from 2010 through 2012. Since then, Mike has been teaching NIMS All-Hazard and National Wildlife Coordinating Group courses to various industry entities, to include a large electric utility in California.
Recognized as an international expert in wildland fires, Mike has been involved with Class A Foam development and technology since 1981. He has coordinated with Regional Fire Equipment Committees in Oregon, Washington, and California. Between 1995 and 2001, he participated in Federal Fire Policy and Program Reviews to help standardize national policies. In 2004, he received the Secretary of Agriculture’s Award for Heroism and Emergency Response for pre-planning efforts prior to the 2003 Southern California Fire Siege and establishment of the Mountain Area Safety Task Force (MAST) concept which has been viewed as a model in partnerships.
Continuing to give back to the community, Mike is a member of Society of American Foresters, serving as the Chair of the Fire Working Group for two years, and has been a volunteer firefighter with Lane Rural Fire Protection District (Eugene, OR). To properly recognize his firefighting brethren, Mike helped establish the U.S. Forest Service Honor Guard to show merited respect at funerals and memorials for employees killed in the line of duty, and to represent the Forest Service in events such as high visibility fire prevention or law enforcement events, parades, recruitment, and award ceremonies, presenting an appearance of professionalism, dignity, honor, and pride in the Forest Service. He is also a member of the International Association of Wildland Fire. Recently, he became a member of Puentes as a Staff Forester. This is a non-profit which serves the community of Stockton for local organic produce in the “food desert”.
Mike is certified as a National (Type 1) Incident Commander and a Type 1 Planning Section Chief. He has assisted on numerous complex fires and national disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina / Rita and Columbia Shuttle Recovery. During the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010, he served as an ICS Advisor to the US Coast Guard/BP. Mike is additionally FEMA certified to instruct at the 300/400 level and includes the Incident Commander and Planning Section Chief courses.
Mike holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Montana (1976) and an A.A.S. Degree from Paul Smith’s College in NY (1974).