Former local writer publishes fourth book

When he’s not playing softball, he’s writing books.

Dan Kincaid, forester and former supervisor of the local Marietta Unit of the Wayne National Forest from 1980 to 1990, has recently published his fourth book since moving to The Villages, Florida in 2014. His most recent book revolves around the “adventures” of a Forest Ranger working for the U.S. Forest Service.

Kade Holley, Forest Ranger is a work of fiction, but has its roots in Kincaid’s 31-year forestry career working at a number of National Forest locations. The five stories in this first volume are set in Minnesota, Ohio (2), North Carolina, and Washington. The national forests are the Superior (MN), Wayne (OH), Uwharrie (NC), and the Gifford Pinchot/ Mount St. Helens National Monument (WA). Future volumes will include stories set in National Forests in West Virginia, Georgia, Colorado, Kentucky, and Montana, as well as the previous locations from the first book.

“I originally intended to target this at the ‘young adult’ audience,” Kincaid said, “but after I had several people read early drafts, I think that anyone from the early teenage years on up to adults, with an interest in the outdoors, will enjoy the book. And perhaps it will influence any teenagers or young adults, who have an interest in natural resources, to pursue a career in forestry or other related fields.”

In this book there is a ‘close call’ forest fire situation in North Carolina; a dangerous encounter with unruly vandals in Ohio; and an interesting assignment to Mount St. Helens in Washington. There are truck wrecks; encounters with snakes and other wild animals; and a potentially life threatening float plane crash on a remote lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northern Minnesota. There are also the more routine jobs and, as stated on the back cover, “Kade Holley never wavers in his love for his family, his love of being a forest ranger, and his love of the National Forests.”

Kincaid and his wife Vicki enjoy a number of activities in The Villages, but he says he has spent more time writing and playing softball than anything else. “I guess I’ve played in seven different leagues in the three years since I’ve been here,” he said. “It’s been great fun, even though a couple of health issues, which is what necessitated our move here from Ohio, have hindered me somewhat. I’m not much into golf or pickleball,” Kincaid continued, “but Vicki and I enjoy various other activities too, like table shuffleboard, platform tennis, various concerts and plays, billiards, and, of course, riding around in a golf cart. Who’d have thought?” he laughed.

Kincaid has a Bachelor’s degree in Forest Management from West Virginia University, a Masters degree in Forestry/Environmental Management from Duke University, and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. While working locally in the 1980s, Kincaid had also obtained a Biology and General Science Teaching Certification through course work at Marietta College.

In his varied forestry career Kincaid has managed campgrounds and visitor centers; had duties in forest inventory and timber management; fought forest fires; managed wilderness areas; supervised trail construction and maintenance, including for segments of both the North Country and the Appalachian Trails; worked on wildlife, fisheries, and wetland habitat activities; and completed numerous soil and water protection projects. He also had duties in conservation education, urban forestry, and public affairs.

In 1987, in what was considered a major event for Marietta, Washington County, and the Frontier School District, Kincaid coordinated the cutting and delivery of the National Capitol Christmas Tree from Wayne National Forest to Washington, D.C. Numerous local officials and citizens, including the Frontier High School band, attended the lighting ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on December 9, 1987.

Kincaid’s first book, The Penicillin Kids, published in 2015, is about his Huntington, West Virginia high school’s 1966 state champion basketball team. Kincaid was a starting forward on that team. His second and third books, Your…..Chattahoochee National Forest and Your…..Wayne National Forest were both published in 2016, and are compilations of weekly outdoor columns he wrote while stationed with the U.S. Forest Service in Georgia and Ohio from the late 1970s through the 1980s. These three books, plus Kade Holley, Forest Ranger, are all available on Amazon.com and through Barnes & Noble bookstores. Kincaid has already started work on a volume two of the Kade Holley stories, as well as other writing projects.

“Chronic health issues may soon curtail my softball playing,” Kincaid noted. “I’m just not sure yet, but I have certainly enjoyed playing. After 30 years of not playing, I never thought I’d get to do that again. But no matter what, I’ll continue writing as long as I can,” he said. “I really enjoy that, too.”


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