Something new for the Bird Forestry “Latest News and Events” in 2019 will be a “Meet the Team” feature introducing a member of the Bird Forestry and Advanced Ecology team who plays a role in helping you reach your forestland resources goals.
We’re starting with the team leader, the president, and CEO. Missouri native Mike Bird graduated from the University of Missouri (Mizzou) – Columbia in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management.
After working in the forestry industry as a field forester, harvesting engineer, and procurement/management forester, Mike and his wife, Donna, founded Bird Forestry Services, Inc. in Center, Texas, in 1979 as a traditional forestry consulting firm offering services to private non-industrial landowners in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
Bird Forestry today remains a family-owned company offering high-quality, science-based forest management for a wide variety of clients.
Mike and Donna have four children. Two sons, Mike D. Bird and Mark Bird, are foresters and principals in the business. A third son, Scott Bird, and his family reside in Nacogdoches where he is a State Farm Insurance agent. Their daughter, Kerri Ramos, resides with her family in Center where she is employed by Portacool, LLC, in the marketing department.
Mike started studying forestry at Mizzou in 1972. It wasn’t long before he and Professor Lee K. Paulsell formed a close relationship. Professor Paulsell mentored Mike and encouraged him to participate in extra-curricular activities. As a result, Mike became active in the University Student Chapter of the Society of American Forestry, Mizzou’s Forestry Club, and the club’s Midwestern Conclave Team. He served as vice president, president, and co-captain of the Midwestern Foresters’ Conclave Team, taking the team to first place in the annual timbersports competition. He also served as president of the Forestry Department Student Association.
Jim Foster, then vice president of Davis Forestry services, became Mike’s first boss after his graduation from Mizzou and mentored him during his early years as a consulting forester. Jim’s tutelage gave Mike insight into the field of forestry consulting and sparked a desire in him to open his own company in 1979.
Mike currently serves as president of the Texas Forestry Association (TFA) and is also a member of the Louisiana Forestry Association (LFA). “The benefits of membership in the forestry associations,” he said, “include the ability of forest landowners, the forest industry and professional foresters alike to have a voice in the state that promotes sustainable forestry practices and the use of forest products. TFA and LFA provide a platform to inform and educate the forestry community on key issues that may affect their land or job, and membership in the forestry associations is a great networking opportunity for people with similar interests to become acquainted and work together.”
“Forestry associations play an important part with a solid future,” Mike said. “In Texas alone, there are 12 million acres of working forest owned by more than 200,000 landowners creating almost 150,000 jobs for Texans, the need for a voice in this industry will remain constant.”
Mike and Donna are TFA Life Members because, according to Mike, “Life Membership is an opportunity to provide a legacy contribution to benefit the TFA.”
Outside of forestry, Mike is a woodworker and likes to make furniture. Donna and Mike enjoy a close relationship with all eight of their children (four children and their four spouses) and all 11 grandchildren. They also enjoy traveling, hunting, fishing and just being in the outdoors. Mike quickly adds that even after more than 45 years of marriage, he especially enjoys time with his wife, Donna.
The current TFA president maintains that his real passion remains the practice of the art of forestry, working outdoors and observing the results of forest management practices he has prescribed—some as long as 40 years ago—emphasizing that even “old dogs” can still learn if they just keep their eyes open.