Neil H. LeMay
Inducted February 24, 1988
In recognition of his 38 years (1931- 1969) of dedicated service as a forest ranger, supervisor, chief forest ranger, and finally as director of the Bureau of Fire Control in the Wisconsin Conservation Department. He is nationally recognized as an innovator of fire fighting techniques, equipment and communications and is the co-author of the first history of forest fires and fire control programs in Wisconsin.
More about Niel H. LeMay:
Neil LeMay was the Chief Forest Ranger in the Wisconsin Conservation Department. He became director of the Bureau of Fire Control with the subsequent Department of Natural Resources, until his retirement in 1969, after 38 years of service.
LeMay co-authored a Wisconsin Conservation Department bulletin, issued in 1952, on the history of forest fire protection in Wisconsin, the first such historical record in this field.
Noted columnist and reporter, John Wyngaard said of LeMay on the occasion of his retirement, “he was a dedicated, resourceful, tireless combatant in the war against forest fires … as Chief Ranger Neil LeMay takes his ease, he may travel his beloved north country and regard its landscape, without vanity, as in substantial part a personal achievement. Had he not lived, or had he not chosen to become one of the first of the forest protection officers, the transformation surely would have taken longer.”
On retiring, LeMay resided in Tomahawk, was a licensed real estate broker of considerable experience, and operated an appraisal service. In his capacity as chairman of the County Board, he actively participated in the decision-making process of several committees dealing with the conservation of natural resources of Lincoln County, and also served on a number of special state legislative council committees with similar interests.