The Nature Conservancy
Fire Training & Network Coordinator
Salt Lake City, Utah
Jeremy Bailey has served as a Fire Training and Fire Learning Network Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy since 2008. He developed and currently manages a respected program of fire training exchanges that each year engages approximately 120 federal, state and private fire practitioners from around the U.S. The exchanges serve the dual purpose of treating large areas with fire while providing excellent training opportunities for both experienced fire professionals and new fire practitioners. The goal is to increase capacity for conducting ecologically appropriate prescribed burns by improving collaboration and sharing of resources across the U.S. fire community. Training exchanges are effective because they promote collaborative fire planning and implementation at high-value conservation areas.
In addition, Jeremy works as a leader and network coordinator for the Fire Learning Network (FLN). The FLN is a network of inter-organizational, landscape-level working teams who collaborate to enhance forest and grassland health and resiliency in the context of increasing vulnerability to threats such as too little, too much or the wrong kind of fire, invasive species, and climate change.
Jeremy is a qualified burn boss type two (RXB2), who plans and conducts about 10,000 acres of prescribed fire annually. He is an accomplished burn leader, has hosted national and international fire training events, and has bossed prescribed fires in seven states. He has developed experiential training programs recognized by the University of Idaho and serves on the steering committee of the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council. Prior to his current position with The Nature Conservancy, Jeremy served in fire and aviation management with USFS and NPS since 1993 and has held positions including Fire Use Module supervisor, helicopter and helibase manager, Hotshot squad leader and engine crewmember, structural firefighter and EMT.
The College of Resource Management of the University of Idaho, in Moscow awarded Jeremy the 2011 Bridge Builder Award for his work developing training courses that provide opportunities for students to integrate in the field with local ecologists, firefighters and land managers. Jeremy is a regular lead instructor for NWCG prescribed fire course work and serves as Subject Matter Expert to prescribed fire organizations around the West.
Jeremy lives in Salt Lake City, Utah where he enjoys the numerous national parks and the world class snow found in the Wasatch Mountains.
Board member since August 2011.
James R. Erickson
Intertribal Timber Council
Fire Technical Specialist
James R. Erickson was contracted as the Intertribal Timber Council Fire Technical Specialist in October 2002. He has a twenty-five year career working in Indian Forestry for the Colville Confederated Tribes where he was the Director of Colville Tribal Forestry and the alternate representative to the Intertribal Timber Council.
Jim began his career with the US Forest Service on the Beaverhead National Forest in 1975. He worked briefly for Weyerhaeuser Corporation and Boise Cascade, before going to work for the Colville Tribe in 1977. His experience with the Tribe included overseeing forest development, writing silvicultural prescriptions, and administering the Tribal Forestry program. Erickson’s tenure with the Intertribal Timber Council included participating in development and passage of PL 101-630, the Indian Forest Resource Management Act, which currently directs federal actions on Indian forests.
Erickson was born in Williston, North Dakota and grew up in Washington State. He graduated from Washington State University with a bachelors of Science degree in Forest Management. He also attended the institute for Continuing Education in Forest Ecology and Silviculture (CEFES) through Washington State University, the University of Idaho, and the University of Montana. Erickson also attended the Washington State Agriculture and Forestry Leadership program.
Jim is currently a private Forestry consultant doing work for the Intertribal Timber Council.
Board member since July 2010.
Brent M. Haglund
Sand County Foundation
Dr. Brent M. Haglund is President of Sand County Foundation. He earned a Ph.D in ecology from the University of Georgia where he studied with Eugene Odum and Frank Golley. His research interests had been in ecosystem level effects of weather modification, fire management, and wildlife populations.
Since moving to Wisconsin in the early 1980s from a research position in Montana, Haglund has been continuously involved in private conservation. First, he was Director of Land Stewardship for the Wisconsin Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and then State Director for that group. Second, beginning in 1988 Haglund has been active promulgating a land ethic of Aldo Leopold through support of landowner-driven conservation. Sand County Foundation operates internationally with five major programs each of which reinforces landowner conservation with good science and meaningful incentives.
Dr. Haglund was ecological consultant to the Wisconsin Legislative Council on non-point water pollution, was a member of the Wisconsin Sesquicentennial Commission, is a member of the Executive Committee of the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute, and was a private sector conservation advisor to the Cabinet of Premier Nick Greiner, New South Wales, Australia. His latest book, "Hands on Environmentalism" Encounter Books (2005) was co-authored with Tom Still.
Board member since November 2008.
Pete Lahm - Liaison
Air Resource Specialist
Pete Lahm is the Fire Weather and Air Quality Specialist for the USDA Forest Service, Fire and Aviation Management, Fuels and Fire Ecology Branch in Washington, DC. Starting in 2004, Pete has led the Forest Service’s smoke management efforts developing technical approaches and policies related to smoke impacts from prescribed fire, wildland fire use and wildfires. Since late 2006 he has chaired the Fire and Air Coordination Team (FACT) and been a member of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s Fire Environment Working Team. Prior to 2004, Pete managed the Arizona Interagency Air Resource and Smoke Management Program. He chaired the Western Regional Air Partnership’s Fire Emissions Joint Forum from 1996-2004 where numerous national and regional scale smoke management policies and technical approaches were developed. Pete also owns a small business consulting in automotive rally racing and holds a Master’s of Environmental Management from Duke University.
Board liaison since November 2008.
Larson & McGowin, Inc.
Chairman of the Board
Keville Larson is Chairman of Larson & McGowin, Inc. a forestry consulting firm with offices in several Southern States and headquartered in Mobile, Alabama. He has been associated with the firm since 1961. He holds a BA from Stanford University and a Master of Forestry from Yale University. He is a registered forester in several states and has served as an officer or board member for a number of forestry organizations including the Association of Consulting Foresters, Forest Landowners Association, Alabama Forestry Association and Forest Industries Committee for Timber Valuation and Taxation. In 2000 he was the F. K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters and a SAF Certified Forester and has been a member of the Board of Forest History Society since 2003. Keville is married and has two children who are sixth generation Alabama landowners. He has been an advocate for private owners and a long time proponent of prescribed burning and management of natural stands, and currently works on several longleaf tracts in South Alabama and Mississippi for his family. He has worked with a number of community and arts organizations in Mobile, Alabama.
Board member since November 2008.
Mark Melvin - Chair
Mark Melvin is employed at the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway, Inc. located in Newton, Georgia. Mark has 20 years of private land management experience in the south and approximately 100,000 acres of prescribed fire experience. At Ichauway, he works with conservation management and education staff to promote the appropriate use of prescribed fire. Some of his outreach efforts include; prescribed fire short courses that provide “hands-on” experience, participation with numerous university courses for undergraduate and graduate programs, private landowner outreach, and partners with many natural resource management agencies. Over the last four years, Mark’s primary focus has been working with prescribed fire councils at state, regional, and national levels. He is the past-chair, current vice-chair, of the Georgia Prescribed Fire Council and the current chair of the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils. The Coalition’s efforts have led to the development of an extensive communication network among prescribed fire practitioners.
Board member since November 2008.
Alistair Smith joined the Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Sciences at the University of Idaho in 2007. He holds a BSc in Physics from the University of Edinburgh, a MSc in Physics at the University of London, and a PhD in Geography also from the University of London. Alistair has been researching fire since 1999 and has published over 40 journal articles and two book chapters.
At the University of Idaho he teaches fundamental forest measurement and inventory courses in addition to introductory courses in wildland fire management, smoke management, and remote sensing methods in fire management. His research focuses on combustion dynamics of woody fuels, smoke and emissions, and the remote sensing of burn severity.
Alistair coordinates smoke management and air quality extension at the University of Idaho and through his extension team has helped the National Wildfire Coordination Group’s Smoke Committee in developing and delivering several online smoke management training materials. Alistair also serves as an Associate Editor on the International Journal of Wildland Fire.
Board member since November 2011.
National Association of State Foresters
Dan Smith was named Fire Director for the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) in January 2007. As Fire Director, he is the wildland fire representative for the 50 states and 8 Western Pacific and Caribbean territories at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho. Dan works collaboratively with federal agency wildland fire directors and is one of seven members of the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group (NMAC), the national level authority that directs and controls wildland firefighting resources. He also represents NASF, and currently serves as vice-chair, on the National Wildland Fire Coordinating Group (NWCG), the national organization responsible for national fire training, qualification, equipment, and incident operation standards.
Dan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry in 1977 from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has over 30 years of professional experience in wildland fire and emergency response as a forester and a firefighter, culminating in his current position at NIFC. His career began in 1978 as a field forester with the State of North Carolina. Dan worked 11 years as a District Forester and during this period developed significant expertise in fire and incident management teams (IMT). Over a period of 8 years, he served as the Operations Section Chief and the Deputy Incident Commander for one of two Southern Type 1 IMTs. As a Type 1 National Incident Commander and as a member of a National Area Incident Command Team, Dan has been mobilized and assigned to wildland fire and all risk incidents throughout the United States.
In 1991, Dan moved to the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources State Office where he served in numerous capacities as the Assistant State Forester for Administration, the Assistant State Forester for Forest Protection, and then was promoted to the Division Director’s Office where he culminated his career as Deputy Director. He retired in January 2007 after 29 years with the North Carolina Division of Forest Resources, just prior to moving to Boise to assume his current position at NIFC.
Board member since November 2008.
Chuck Stanley - Liaison
Chuck Stanley is a GLCI Rangeland Management Specialist for the NRCS at the Central National Technology Support Center. Chuck’s formal training includes undergraduate studies at Texas Tech University (TTU) and a Master’s degree where he studied the effects of summer burning on Texas High Plains Vegetation. Chuck served as fireboss for TTU from 1993-1997 and was a primary instructor for in the delivery of contracted NRCS prescribed fire courses.
Chuck has been involved in the application of prescribed fire on over 300,000 acres. As a rangeland management specialist in Oklahoma, he held the highest job approval authority, started the first of 14 prescribed fire coalitions, and provided training for Oklahoma NRCS employees and producers. In his current position as a core team member at the CNTSC, Chuck has delivered prescribed fire training to over 200 NRCS employees in the service area and was a team member in the development of the current NRCS national policy for prescribed burning.
Board member since January 2013.
Kim Van Hemelryck - Liaison
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Kim Van Hemelryck is the Fuels Management Specialist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Branch of Fire Management, in Boise, Idaho. Kim has over 23 years of experience in wildland fire while working for the federal government. Kim started her career in the Forest Service in 1987 as a seasonal firefighter on the Okanogan National Forest in Washington State. She has worked for the US Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management in various suppression and fuels jobs at the Local, Regional, and National level. She has worked at the National Interagency Fire Center since 2003 focusing on prescribed fire, policy, and hazardous fuels reduction. Kim is a member of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s Fuel Management Committee (FMC) that is the parent group to the Fire Use Sub-Committee.
Board member since June 2012.
Dr. J. Morgan Varner
Mississippi State University
Dr. J. Morgan Varner is on the faculty of Mississippi State University, where he teaches and leads research in the ecology and management of fire-prone ecosystems. From 2004-2012 he was on the faculty at Humboldt State University where he founded and directed the Wildland Fire Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in Fire Ecology from the University of Florida and holds a M.S. in Forestry from Auburn University and a B.S. in Forest Resources from the University of Idaho.
His research has been focused on prescribed fire behavior and effects, fuels treatment efficacy, and potential changes in fire and fuels resulting from global change. Over the past decade he has been author/co-author of 34 peer-reviewed publications and principal or co-investigator on research grants in excess of $3 million on fire behavior and effects in forests and woodlands in the southeastern US and California. He serves on the Editorial Boards of the journals Forest Science and Fire Ecology.
In 2008, Morgan co-founded the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council. He continues to chair that organization and serves on the steering committee of the Mississippi Prescribed Fire Council. His passion has been working to minimize impediments to the use of prescribed and managed wildfire in conservation landscapes.
Board member since January 2013.
Former Board Members