Jerry Snyder says his career has been crisis management from the start.

During nearly three decades with the U.S. Coast Guard, he rescued stranded boats, assisted with an oil spill in the San Francisco Bay and helped coordinate the return of a whale named J.J. to the Pacific Ocean.

Snyder followed that with a job for the Federal Aviation Administration, announcing to the world that all aircraft were grounded following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The stress of that job brought him to the Stanislaus National Forest, where he served as the forest's main spokesman for the past 11 years.

Snyder, 60, retired from the Forest Service a week ago - not before last year's massive Rim Fire, the Sierra Nevada's largest wildfire on record.

For the full story see today's Union Democrat.

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