Mike started out by working for the 10 years with the USFS in various capacities including Smoke Jumper, Heli-Tack, and Hotshot crew member. During the winter months of this time he ran a portable sawmill and did some gypo logging. In 1979 he formed Grayback Forestry after a knee injury in 1981 disabled him from smoke jumping anymore. Grayback Forestry started contacting full time with the agencies specializing in cone collections, reforestation, wildfire suppression and fuels work. In 1986 they opened a base in Libby, Montana in addition to the Merlin, Oregon location. The Montana base is now located in Missoula with other facilities in Merlin, Oregon, – John Day, Oregon, and La Grande, Oregon. Mike was one of the first members of NWSA, and he has been a board member since the early 90’s.
Mike’s company operates a multitude of fire resources including Type 2 IA Hand crews, Type 2 Regional Crews, water handling equipment, fallers and specialized equipment in Oregon and Montana.
His current roles are:
-Board Member at large for the National Wildfire Suppression Association.
-Chairman, NWSA National Resource Contract Chapter