Who's who in the Greatest Good

INTERVIEWS (alphabetical) [ read Who's Who in Historical Figures ]


Don Beardsley grew up in the Forest Service. His father was a District Ranger. Now retired, he has performed nearly all of the field duties of a forest officer from fire to timber to recreation.
Geri Bergen became the first woman Forest Supervisor in 1985. She entered forestry school in 1960 at a time when few women entered the profession.
Dale Bosworth has been Chief of Forest Service since 2001. His father was a Forest Supervisor and his son now works for the Forest Service. Bosworth came up through the ranks, holding all of the “line officer” positions from District Ranger, Forest Supervisor and Regional Forester.
Nina Leopold Bradley is the daughter of Aldo Leopold. She teaches and promotes conservation values through the Aldo Leopold Foundation and at “The Shack” near Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Edgar Brannon recently retired Director of Grey Towers National Historic Landmark, the Pinchot family summer home in Milford, Pennsylvania. He provides leadership and conservation history training to land managers and others.
Fred Brauer is a former smokejumper and retired manager of the smokejumper base in Missoula, MT. In his 80s, Brauer organizes volunteer trail maintenance crews, made up of other retired jumpers. Brauer looks forward to jumping again one day.
Jay Cravens had a long and diverse career in the Forest Service, chronicled in his book A Well Worn Path. During the Vietnam war, he led a Forest Service cadre that helped set up sawmills in South Vietnam. As Regional Forester in the Eastern Region, he dealt with the clearcutting issues on the Monongahela Forest. He has been Associate Chief and acting Chief.
William Cronon is Frederick Jackson Turner Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he teaches environmental history. He is an authority many subjects including colonial land use and the wilderness idea. His books include Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England and Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature.
John Crowell was the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture in the Reagan administration. That position, now called the “Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment,” is the political appointee in charge of the Forest Service. Crowell has worked as an attorney and lobbyist for and with the timber industry in the Pacific northwest for many years.
Orville Daniels worked for thirty-five years with the Forest Service, including stints as Forest Supervisor on Montana’s Lolo and Bitterroot National Forests. He teaches leadership skills to land managers and public land management at the University of Montana.
Jeff Debonis was a Timber Sale Planner on Oregon’s Willamette National Forest in the 1980s. He started an environmental organization for Forest Service employees known as FSEEE. He later formed a group called PEER to help represent government employee whistle-blower cases.
Robert Devlin worked for forty-two years with the Forest Service. A trained forester, he held many positions from District Ranger to Director of Natural Resource Management in the Pacific Northwest’s regional office.
Michael Dombeck was Chief of the Forest Service from 1997 to 2001. He is now Frontier Professor of Global Environmental Management at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Dombeck is a biologist and was fisheries program manager with the Forest Service; he was also Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Management. Dombeck is co-author of From Conquest to Conservation.
Sally Fairfax is Henry J. Vaux Distinguished Professor of Forest Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Fairfax worked for the Forest Service in the 1970s, and has written numerous articles pertaining to national forest issues. She is the co-author with Samuel T. Dana of the classic text Forest and Range Policy
Susan Flader is a professor of environmental history at the University of Missouri. Dr. Flader is a leading authority on the work of Aldo Leopold; Her works include Thinking Like a Mountain: Aldo Leopold and the Evolution of an Ecological Attitude Towards Deer, Wolves, and Forests and The River of the Mother of God and Other Essays by Aldo Leopold, edited with J.B. Callicott
Dave Foreman is a long-time wilderness advocate and executive director of the Rewilding Institute. While working for the Wilderness Society, he helped create the Aldo Leopold Wilderness in New Mexico. He later co-founded the radical environmental group Earth First! He is the author of several books including The Big Outside.
Jerry Franklin is professor of Ecosystem Analysis at the University of Washington. Dr. Franklin began his career as a research forester with the Forest Service in 1959. Starting in the 1970s, he began pioneering work on old-growth forest ecosystems at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest near Eugene, Oregon.
James Freeman was forester in the northern region for many years. He is currently the president of the Forest Service retiree association in Montana.
James Geisinger is executive director of Associated Oregon Loggers. He is a long-time representative for the forest products industry in the Pacific Northwest.
Paul Hirt is professor of history at Arizona State University. His interest in public lands began with his work at a citizen-activist with the Sierra Club in Arizona. His graduate studies led to the publication of his book A Conspiracy of Optimism about the Forest Service in the post-war years.
William Hurst is retired from a career in the Forest Service that started in 1937. He held many jobs in the agency including Regional Forester in the Southwest Region. He has wide experience with grazing and is former president of the Society for Range Management.
Lynn Jungwirth is the director of the Watershed Center in Hayfork, California. She is an advocate for community-based forestry and ecosystem restoration projects.
Doug Leisz is retired associate chief of the Forest Service and was regional forester in California. He began his career as a forester in the early 1950s. He supported innovative programs in fire management, computer systems, and human resources, and played an important role in several large land acquisitions. He is currently heads a national Forest Service retiree organization.
Marian Leisz managed the household and often the Forest Service office while raising five children and moving every couple of years. She and her husband Doug started out “in the deep dark woods and ended up on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.” She enjoys being part of the nationwide Forest Service “family.”
John Maclean was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune for thirty years. In 1995, he resigned in order to write the best-selling book Fire on the Mountain about the South Canyon fire in Colorado. His father Norman Maclean wrote Young Men and Fire about the Mann Gulch fire. Maclean recently published Fire and Ashes which details other multi-fatality wildfires.
Doug MacCleery is a senior policy analyst with the Forest Service in Washington DC. Has written numerous papers and is the author of America’s Forests: A History of Resiliency and Recovery. MacCleery served as deputy assistant secretary of Agriculture in the 1980s.
Curt Meine is an author, teacher, and conservation biologist. Dr. Meine wrote the definitive biography of Aldo Leopold. He works for the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters in Madison, WI and International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Char Miller is professor of history at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. He is the author of the recent biography Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism. He and co-author Rebecca Staebler recently published the second edition of The Greatest Good: One Hundred Years of Forestry in America. Dr. Miller lectures around the nation on the history of the Forest Service and public lands.
Bud Moore practices ecosystem management on his land in Montana’s Swan Valley. He started with the Forest Service in the 1930s as a fire lookout and smokechaser. As fire manager for the Forest Service In the 1970s, he was an early advocate for allowing fire to burn in wilderness. Dr. Moore is the author of The Lochsa Story which chronicles his experiences as a forest ranger, backcountry woodsman and trapper in the northern Rockies.
Max Peterson was Chief of the Forest Service from late 70s to the late 80s and before that he was regional forester in the southern region. A civil engineer, Peterson was the first non-forester Chief. He continues to have a strong interest in the agency’s history, tradition, and values. Since retiring from the Forest Service, Peterson has been a leader with wildlife and scouting groups.
Cassie Phillips is a forester and an attorney. She is currently Vice-President of Sustainable Forestry for Weyerhaeuser Corporation. In the 1970s, she was one of the first female “helitacks” (firefighters that to rappel to wildfires from helicopters) for the Forest Service.
Peter Pinchot practices community forestry on two-hundred acres in Eastern Pennsylvania. He also writes and gives speeches on conservation issues. Peter is the son of Gifford Bryce Pinchot and the grand-son of Gifford Pinchot.
Stephen Pyne is professor at Arizona State University. Dr. Pyne has written numerous books about wildfire and wildland fire policy, and about his experiences as firefighter for the National Park Service. These include Fire in America, The Year of the Fires, Fire on the Rim and Smokechasing.
Dale Robertson was chief of the Forest Service during the transitional period from 1987 to 1993. During this time the Forest Service introduced concepts and practices known variously as New Forestry, New Perspectives and Ecosystem Management. In retirement, Robertson helps with volunteer projects on the national forest near his home in Arizona.
Alfred Runte is an author and lecturer on western history, the railroads and public lands. He wrote Public Lands, Public Heritage: The National Forest Idea for the 1991centennial of the forest reserves. Dr. Runte has also researched and written extensively on the National Park Service.
Gary Snyder is a Pulitzer prize winning poet. He appears briefly in the film, talking with Forest Supervisor Steve Eubanks and other members of their community. Snyder was also a fire lookout for the Forest Service in the 1950s, and he is long-time activist and writer on environmental issues.
Paul Sutter is professor at the University of Georgia. His book Driven Wild explores the connection between the early wilderness movement and the automobile. Three of the four main subjects of the book – Aldo Leopold, Benton Mackaye and Bob Marshall – were Forest Service employees.
Jack Ward Thomas was Chief of the Forest Service in the early 1990s. Prior to that, Dr. Thomas had a long career as a scientist with the Forest Service. His report on the Northern Spotted Owl garnered international attention. Dr. Thomas is currently Boone & Crockett Professor at the University of Montana.
Tom Thompson is Deputy Chief for the National Forest System in Washington DC. He appears briefly in testimony before a Congressional committee at a hearing on grazing issues. Thompson is a career forester with the Forest Service with a deep interest in Forest Service history and policy.
Eleanor Towns is retired a regional forester in the Southwest Region. She is trained as an attorney and has a background in land exchange and civil rights issues for the Forest Service. Towns gives motivational speeches around the country.
Gerald Williams is the national historian for the Forest Service in Washington, DC. Dr. Williams trained as a sociologist, and worked as both an historian and sociologist in the Pacific Northwest Region. He has written numerous white papers about Forest Service history and is the author of The USDA Forest Service: The First Century.
Robert Wolf began his career as forester and forest lookout with the Forest Service. Starting in the 1950s, Wolf began working on Congressional staff and later for the Congressional Research Service. He played a significant role in drafting important legislation on federal forest policy.
Susie Wood began her career as a district clerk in Southern California in the 1950s. She recently retired as a Visual Information Specialist in the Forest Supervisor’s office of the Angeles National Forest. She continues to work with other Forest Service retirees, including her sister and brother-in-law.