August 22, 2018
By Tom Davidson
Byron Hart is a forester and fire expert for the U.S. Forest Service, currently serving as the Fire Management Officer on the Osceola National Forest in Florida. After graduating from Florida A&M University and the University of Florida, Byron got his start as Forester Trainee in the Ocala National Forest and served in a number of technical, fire management, and leadership positions. On this show, Byron discusses how he got introduced to forestry, some of the challenges of being a leader, and how to empower your staff so that they take ownership of their work. “Lead from the heart and have passion for what you do,” says Brian. Listen to the whole interview here and now.
[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.
[1:40] A quick intro about Byron’s background.
[3:25] How did Byron get into forestry and natural resources?
[6:25] How did Byron first learn about the Forest Service and pick a career path?
[12:30] What does his fire management position consist of?
[15:30] Byron shares the leadership experience you get when you join the fire service.
[17:25] What other types of career position has Byron taken on over the years?
[21:20] The Forest Service has a lot of different avenues you can explore.
[24:00] What is Byron most proud of in his career?
[26:45] Did Byron have any challenges while transitioning into a leadership role?
[30:15] What kind of mentors has Byron had over the years?
[31:44] How was Byron’s hotshot crew structured and what do they do?
[34:45] As a person of color, has Byron experienced any personal difficulties or challenges?
[36:50] How can the forestry profession be more proactive in attracting more diversity?
[39:30] Empower your employees by having them take pride and ownership in what they’re doing.
[42:00] What types of skills do people need to learn to be good leaders?
[45:45] Byron offers advice for students and young professionals looking to get into natural resources.
[49:45] Tell your story and tell people why forestry makes you happy. It might inspire somebody to join!
[54:25] Lead from the heart and have passion for what you do.
Mentioned in This Episode:
USDA Forest Service Jobs – www.fs.fed.us/working-with-us/opportunities-for-young-people
Osceola National Forest- https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/osceola/recarea/?recid=75121
LEAD… for God’s Sake! A Parable for Finding the Heart of Leadership, by Todd G. Gongwer
Calstone Rx Burn 2016. Discussing firing patterns with Jordan McKnight. Big Cypress National Preserve
Klamath National Forest. Northern California. Beaver Fire. Byron was working as division supervisor.
Byron with Fire Suppression Buggy used on exiting trails on The Big Cypress National Preserve. Orange Blossom Fire. Big Cypress 2014.