Wesley Ruise, Jr.
Stewardship Pathways: Fire Advisor
Wesley G. Ruise Jr. is a third generation wildland firefighter, fire chief of the La Jolla Reservation Fire Department, and Tribal Member, Luiseño, Digueño, Mojave (Payómkawichum). Wes and his family started the Reservation fire department in 1985. Up until his retirement from the U.S. Forest Service in 2015, Chief Ruise dedicated his life to just under 36 years in Fire suppression, Prevention, Detection, Aviation and Prescribed Fire, Hotshot Superintendent, District Fire Management Officer positions with the Forest Service. Along with his 38 years of all risk fire and emergency services with the Reservation Department, Chief Ruise Jr. holds numerous qualifications within the wildfire and prescribed arena.
As the Indigenous Forestry and Fuels Crew Advisor, Chief Wesley G. Ruise Jr. collaborates, advises, and supports the Climate Science Alliance team in the creation of a Tribal Fire and Fuels Crew, identification of individuals to serve on the crew, and the development and facilitation of training and capacity building opportunities for participants. Chief Wesley Ruise Jr. began the two-year advisoral fellowship position in January 2022, working closely with the Climate Science Alliance team to advance projects and programming for the establishment of the Tribal crew. In addition, Chief Ruise Jr. provides guidance and recommendations on the Stewardship Pathways program, the Resilient Restoration project, the 2022 Southwestern Tribal Climate Change Summit, and other projects related to Tribal climate resilience, forestry and fuels management, land stewardship, Tribal fire management, and cultural burning, as appropriate.