Dave Derby

CAL FIRE/Butte County Fire Department
Title: Unit Forester, D2190
Dave Derby, Unit Forester, Standing by a Truck

I grew up near Merced, California. I earned an Associate’s degree in General Science from Merced College in 1980 and a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry with a Forest Production emphasis in 1983. I have been a licensed professional Forester since 1987.

I worked for Redding-based forestry consulting firms from 1983 to 2004. This work consisted mostly of timber sale preparation and forest inventory for industrial, governmental, and non-industrial timberland owners throughout Northern California. I also spent some time working in Oregon, Washington, Southeast Alaska, and Southwest Siberia. During this time I worked on several projects in Butte County.

In 2004 I joined the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection as the Production Manager at the Magalia Reforestation Center. That year, my family and I put down roots in Butte County. Budget cuts forced the closure of the reforestation center in 2011 and I was transferred to Jackson Demonstration State Forest in Fort Bragg as a Timber Sale Officer. In 2013 I was promoted to the position of JDSF Timber Sale Program Manager. While I found the Fort Bragg area beautiful, I missed the climate and amenities in Butte County. In 2015 was able to transfer back to the Butte Unit as the Unit Forester.

As Unit Forester, I am the Unit’s Environmental Coordinator and Forestry Assistance Specialist. I administer the Unit’s forest practice enforcement and fuels reduction division along with a staff of two foresters. We meet the Department’s mission by protecting watersheds and promoting good forest stewardship. My fire assignments generally consist of directing the repair of damage caused by fire suppression activities.

When I am off-duty I enjoy spending time fishing and kayaking on Butte County’s lakes.


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