Bill’s first contact with the Forest Service (and the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest) came as a college student in the mid to late 1960s, when he labored summers on fire crews. Bill began his Forest Service career on Detroit Ranger District in the era where fire lookouts were being abandoned (and often intentionally burned) in deference to aerial patrols which were thought to save money and reduce the need for fixed lookouts.
Bill advanced to the Redmond Hotshots in his 3rd season – an elite crew of firefighters with a tradition of excellence that is still around today.
Upon completing service in the Air Force as a jet engine mechanic, Bill remained in Sacramento (where he had been stationed) to continue schooling. After receiving an associate's degree in electronics, he held a number of technical positions in Sacramento and with the Oregon Department of Transportation in Salem (after he returned to Oregon).
But the woods called to Bill, and he returned to the Forest Service almost 20 years later in 1986 as the volunteer staffer of Waldo Mountain Lookout (near Waldo Lake). It was through this position that Bill would meet Roxie Metzler (who was staffing nearby Huckleberry Lookout) and Don Allen Jr. (who was staffing Coffin Mountain Lookout on the far north end of the Forest). Together, Bill, Roxie, and Don would be charter members of the SMS. Bill has been involved in SMS activities ever since, both as a lookout staffer on fire watch and as a worker on lookout restoration projects.
After his stint on Waldo, Bill served as a radio technician on the Mt. Hood and Gifford Pinchot National Forests, respectively. On the SMS Heritage Preservation Team, Bill's skills and care are invaluable, and he is a favorite personality among the crew members. Known for his precision work, humility, reliability, punctuality, and good humor, Bill is an SMS institution. A native Oregonian, Bill is now retired and lives in Gresham.