Editor’s Note: Our colleague, Bruce Courtright, who chairs the National Wildfire Institute [NWI] at Fort Jones, California, has shared his organization’s Vision 2025 document with us in hopes we will share it with you, which we are delighted to do because it adds considerable heft to our own educational outreach, which began in southern Oregon in 1986.
NWI’s Vision 2025 was co-authored by Mr. Courtright and Michael Rains, who retired from the Forest Service in 2016. Although we’ve never met either man, we have followed their exceptional careers for many years.
Mr. Courtright held several positions in the U.S. Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry division before being transferred to the agency’s Washington, D.C. office where he served as Chief for Management Improvement. Still later, he worked as a management consultant to the Chief of the Forest Service and the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture.
Mr. Courtright retired from government service in 1985 and formed a national consulting group that specialized in leadership training, strategic planning and conflict resolution. In 2010, he founded NWI.
Mr. Rains was Director of the Northern Research Station and Forest Products Laboratory at Newtown Square, Pennsylvania for 15 years before he retired in 2016. In earlier capacities, he was Deputy Chief of the Forest Service for State and Private Forestry, Washington, D.C.; Director of State and Private Forestry for the Northeastern Area, Radnor, Pennsylvania; and Director of Information, Resources Management and Business Operations for the Forest Service, Washington, D.C.
He attended five universities – Humboldt State at Arcata, California; the University of Mississippi at Oxford; Georgia State in Atlanta; the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and West Chester University at West Chester, Pennsylvania – and holds undergraduate degrees in in forestry, economics and labor relations, and master’s degrees public administration, watershed management and secondary education.
NWI’s Vision 2025 document includes an Executive Order that is making the rounds at the White House. NWI’s hope is that President Trump will soon sign it. Judging from Mr. Courtright’s cover letter to Todd Willens, Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior, NWI’s directors and supporters are working their back channels at Interior and within the Department of Agriculture.
We wish them well – and we encourage you to write the President, urging him to sign the Executive Order. Yet another very long season of horrific wildfire and carcinogenic smoke will be upon us soon.
The document can be read here.