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FOR THE PUBLIC: Bill Haire, Grass Valley

The Union Staff

What I do in my job: Manage the recreation program and special use permits on the Downieville and Nevada City Ranger districts in the Tahoe National Forest.

Why my job is important to the public: One of the key missions of National Forests is providing outdoor recreation. Recreation is essential to the health and well being of us all. For many people, the national forests provide important recreation areas, not found elsewhere.

The special skills and talents I bring to my job: I am an avid outdoor enthusiast and share my passion for the outdoors with the public I serve. I hike, camp, fish, ride a mountain bike, cross-country ski, etc. I enjoy working with the public, organizing volunteer work, and putting together complex projects that require support from diverse interest groups and other agencies.

The best part of my job is: Working with the public, especially the trail user groups that contribute to the construction and maintenance of our trail system. We have a GREAT trail system close to the Nevada City/Grass Valley area.

The part of my job that I like the least is: The barriers to getting projects accomplished – the continual analysis and reanalysis when projects are challenged. It is so easy to stop good projects either administratively or legally – and some groups/individuals with minority opinions use the system very effectively to stop good projects.

A day of work that I’ll always remember was: The day that the head of the Forest Service, Chief Mike Dombeck, came to the Tahoe. I organized and led a presentation involving many different trail groups including horseback riders, mountain bikers, and dirt bike riders. They explained to the chief how we all had been working together to provide and improve trail opportunities rather than fighting to exclude one another.

How I got my job: While at Humboldt State University, I worked one summer marking timber in the Mendocino National Forest. When I graduated with a degree in forestry, I applied for and was offered a job as a forester on the Mendocino.

How long I’ve been working here: 36 years with the federal government: 2 years with the U.S. Army; 4 years with the Mendocino National Forest; 4 years with the San Bernardino National Forest; and 26 years with the Tahoe National Forest.

My dream job would be: I like projects with tangible results – building trails is a good example. My dream job would be locating routes for trails and overseeing the construction of the trails, with unlimited resources available to secure the rights-of-way and construct the trails.

My family: My wife Joyce who retired from teaching in 2000; our son Mike who lives in Grass Valley and works for Ferrelgas, and daughter Jennifer, a wildlife biologist who lives in Sacramento with her husband, Jeff Alvarez.

My hobbies: Gardening, mountain bike riding, hiking, fishing, and reading.

When I was a kid, I was outdoors all the time. My grandfather had a farm, I worked with him, learned to drive a tractor when I was 8-years old. Before I started high school I had decided I wanted to be a forest ranger.

If money were no object I would…. Do a lot of traveling to out of the way places, hiking, biking, fishing, etc.

My dream vacation: Bicycling on trails and quiet roads through Europe and staying in old inns and hotels.

If a movie were made of my life, I would be played by: Chevy Chase, because people say I look like him.

The people who have made the biggest difference in my life: My wife, Joyce; my mother who was an elementary school teacher; and in my Forest Service career, my boss where I worked in Southern California, Bill Johnson.

My hero: President Harry S. Truman, the first president who I was aware of as a child; a man who took responsibility for, and accepted the consequences of his actions.

The best book I’ve read lately was (and tell us why): “Deep South” by Nevada Barr. Her main character is a Park Service employee; I find her stories give a fairly accurate picture of life as a federal employee in a land management agency.

I like living in Nevada County because…. The great weather, the history of the area, and the outdoor activities that I can participate in.

“For the Public” appears each Wednesday. To suggest a public servant to be profiled, call The Union newsroom at 273-9561.

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