Van had a 35-year career with the U.S. Forest Service as forester, rangeland management specialist, district ranger, forest resource staff officer, and natural resources staff officer at the U.S. Forest Service Headquarters in Washington, D.C. After his retirement from the U.S. Forest Service, Van joined Great Plains Consulting, LLC where he helped ranchers who graze on federal lands with grazing management, fire management, vegetation resources, and coordination with federal agencies. He works for six major grazing associations, representing nearly 600 ranchers. He recently partnered to begin Professional Forest Management, LLC.
Van has written several publications on ecosystem management, protocols for measuring habitat response to management, monitoring for ecosystem health and maintenance, and integrating remote sensing and geospatial technologies into resource management.
Van graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelors of Science degree in Forestry and Rangeland Management.