WVULax alum returns to his roots

by James D Mills

WVU alumnus Jim Greene loves the forest.  It's understandable, of course, as he is a 1976 graduate of the WVU Division of Forestry and Natural Resourses with a BS in forestry.  These days you might find him among the great sequoias in the Sequoia National Forest or traversing trails in the Sierra high country.  Jim has returned to his roots, so to speak, and has immersed himself in the great California wilderness.  It was in Morgantown, however, that he nurtured his love of forestry, friendships and lacrosse.

Almost 50 years ago, Jim Greene was donning jersey #6 for the Mountaineers as a midfielder on one of the earliest WVU lacrosse teams. "We didn't do very well in '73," Jim begins, "the '75 club was our best in those days.  We won the Club Divisional Championship. The big take is we all liked playing, we all got along with each other and genuinely cared about each other."  Greene continued, "I cannot recall a cross word between my teammates in 4 years.  Gosh did we have fun!!"

A half of a century later, Jim finds himself traveling between Bakersfield and Fresno as he is assigned to the Sierra and Sequoia National Forests as a consultant for Environmental Consultants, Inc. or ECI.  "I work in a consulting role to the utility industry.  We identify trees tall enough to cause damage to the power lines.  Working with Southern California Edison, we try to lessen the risk to the high voltage lines in order to reduce the risk of wildfires and power outages."  Asked about the recent round of California wildfires, Greene reminisced. "The last wildfire I fought was during the summer of 1973 in the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness area of Minnesota.  Last May I thought I might be able to use my degree to help in California.  I'm doing what I want to do and there are a lot of people that can't say that. I'm healthy and still trucking around the woods."

Greene is not only a patriarch of WVU Lacrosse but is also the father of two and grandfather of four.  He is a proud Dad and alum of the old gold and blue.  "I have a brick at the Erickson Alumni Center and included our lacrosse team on it!"