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DNRC Headquarters
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Jerry Williams

Jerry WilliamsForestry Pioneer

Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Jerry attended Colorado State University receiving a B.S. in Forestry in 1957. While in school, he worked seasonally for the National Park Service. From 1957-1968 Jerry worked for the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks as a District Forester Planner and Fire Management Officer. He came to DNRC in 1968 as a Rural Fire Coordinator, and held positions as the Forestry Information Supervisor and a Fire Training Supervisor.

During his career, Jerry organized the Montana/Idaho Interagency Wildfire Training Council, a model used nationally to form other training councils. He introduced the concept of a fire cache on wheels and refurnishing on the fire. He also introduced organized overhead teams and training to the Office of the State Forester. Jerry was the Fire Boss on the first interagency overhead team in Montana Region 1. He was also a charter member of the Training Team of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group representing the western states and developing the national wildland fire training program. Jerry facilitated and managed numerous regional, national and international conferences and meetings for information exchange, problem solving, conflict resolution, teamwork building and course development.

In addition to serving the State of Montana, Jerry served the country in the Army National Guard Reserves from 1957-1995, was enlisted for six years, and was an Officer Helicopter pilot for 32 years. He spent fourteen years as Training Advisor for the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, helping to design and implement a Disaster Management Team program for developing countries of the world. Jerry also advised the United Nations in the development of their Disaster/Risk Management Training Program.

Jerry was a Training Officer for the Montana Department of State Lands from 1982-2003, and now spends much time as President and Manager of the Sonoran Wings Flight Training Center. Jerry says of retirement, "I currently have the State of Montana, State of Arizona, and U.S. Department of Defense paying me to not work for them anymore. Not working is for old people with nothing to do." His longest period of "retirement" has been 21 days.

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