Five-part Interview With Michael T. Rains

By: Emily Nason
Posted on:08/07/2018

Five-part Interview With Michael T. Rains, Former Director of the Northern Research Station at Newtown Square, Director of the Forest Products Laboratory at Newtown Square

My hat is off to Jim Peterson for publishing the following interviews with Michael Rains. I had a number of meetings with Michael Rains over the years and have always held him in the highest regard. The USFS is in desperate need of modernization, and a simplification of management as well as a shift to more boots on the ground. And Rains hits the nail on the head on the western wild fire issue. These interviews are well worth your time to read and digest. - Amos Eno, LandCAN president and Founder


In Part One Michael Rains discusses recent allegations of sexual harrassment within the Forest Service

Part One (Click to read)

In Part Two Rain’s discusses the recent wildfires out west. He believes nothing will change until the Forest Service and the public embrace the notion that aggressive forest management is the solution for effective fire management.

Part Two (Click to read)

In Part Three, Rain's goes into detail on the role the Forest Service should play across America. He states “the Forest Service has been the leader for conservation in America. It’s time to exercise its full range of authorities, building a support base that enable all lands across all ownerships to be managed more aggressively. This is not an “either-or” proposition. The mantra of the Forest Service must be, “conservation of all lands across all ownerships.”

Part Three (Click to read)

In Part Four, Rain's discusses changes he thinks need to be made to better Forest Service. He believes improvements to ensure a more optimal organizational structure must take place. Savings can be immediately redirected to the District levels for land stewardship projects. Devoting upfront time to organizational design will yield more precise staffing levels based on role definitions.

Part Four (Click to read)

In the last part of the interview, Rain's discusses what should be done to better manage wildfires. He believes that the best available science strongly concludes that striving to extinguish all forest fires quickly with “overwhelming mass” applied to every fire inevitably leads to ecologically significant wildfires with higher intensities and rapid growth that are unable to be suppressed.

Part Five (Click to read)