Craig Barnes comes to BLM from the Forest Service. But be assured, he does not wear green anymore. At least not that you can detect.
Craig is the state fuels management specialist, overseeing the fuels program's budget, providing guidance to the field offices on prescribed fires and serving on interagency fire related committees.
"I oversee the fuels and prescribed fire program," says Craig. "And whatever else Ed wants me to do." Ed being Ed Wehking, the Fire and Aviation branch chief, who quips "Get me some coffee." You can tell Craig is adjusting well to the banter of the Fire and Aviation office.
Craig started in 1972 as a forestry technician in the Flathead National Forest near his home of Whitefish, Montana. He left there in 1983 to go to Kootenai National Forest in Libby, Montana as the assistant fire management officer. He became the fire management office for the Idaho Panhandle National Forest in Sandpoint, Idaho in 1990. He then became the interagency fire management office in Bishop, California, where he supervised the fire program activities, including prescribed fire, hazardous fuel treatments, wildland fire suppression, and aviation resources for the Inyo National Forest and BLM's Bishop Field Office.
This past year, Craig supervised the implementation of the wildland fire program for the Inyo National Forest. "We managed lightening caused fires for resource management benefit," Craig says. "There were 21 fires, which burned approximately 11,000 acres. It was quite interesting."
Craig says getting into the forestry business was a natural having grown up in Whitefish, near Glacier National Park. He received a forest management degree at the University of Montana in Missoula in 1978. He is a certified silviculturalist (the cultivation of forest trees).
Craig's wife, Kathy, is a school teacher and they live in Natomas. He has three daughters; eighteen year old Kimberly, a student at Sacramento City College; Ashley, 21, who is attending the University of Nevada in Reno; and 24 year old Lacy, a respiratory therapist in Santa Cruz.