The Mitagator™ was developed by Bill Link, a former California firefighter and current Colorado resident. In 2000, Bill was living in Big Bear, California during an especially bad fire season. As the fires crept closer to the little mountain town, the city ordered local property owners to remove all pine needles and other ground fuels from their properties.
Bill set out to mitigate around his home. First, he tackled the job with a leaf rake, but the tines clogged up and had to be cleared every few minutes. Then he went at it with a bow rake. That didn’t work any better. He tried every tool on hand, including a McLeod, but nothing moved the needles, twigs and debris efficiently.
As a former wildland firefighter, he understood the importance of clearing that land. He began designing a hand tool specifically to quickly and productively remove the ground fuels that feed wildfires. He spent 18 years developing, testing and perfecting his design. In 2018, he finally had it, and The Mitagator™ was born.
William Link is a long-time resident of Pine, Colorado. He grew up skateboarding, skiing and biking the Rocky Mountains. He lives on 10 acres that also serves as the testing ground for his tool.
Bill is a former firefighter with the California Department of Forestry, now known as CalFire. He was a sawyer, fighting forest and wildland fires in Northern California for 5 years. His experiences on the line crews gave him a deep appreciation of the importance of keeping our forests clean, healthy and safe.
Bill originally designed The Mitagator for professional wildland firefighters, but it’s light, efficient design has made it popular with local homeowners as well.
Melinda – Operations Manager
Melinda is our “behind the desk” gal. She handles everything from ordering to customer service. When you give us a call, she's probably the one you'll talk to. She's a feisty geekgrrl who listens to way too many podcasts.
Jim Arnett – Welder/Engineer
Jim helped Bill put together our manufacturing process. He helped Bill build each prototype until they came up with the right combination of materials and design that makes The Mitagator light enough for grandma but tough enough to move logs. Jim co-founded the Colorado Motorcycle Show and Swap (now called the Colorado Motorcycle Expo) in 1979, and ran it until he retired in 2013. He was also a co-organizer of Emily's Parade, a bike run to honor Emily Keyes, who was shot and killed on Sept. 27, 2006. These days Jim spends his free time watching The Rifleman and riding his bike through the Rocky Mountains. Will ya look at that beard??!
Sooooo many friends who have pitched in to help!
We are grateful and humbled at the incredible number of friends who have jumped in to help get The Mitagator company going. People all over the country have helped us with everything from spreading the word about The Mitagator to letting us crash on their couches when we travel to county fairs, wildfire conferences and home shows. We wouldn't have been able to do it without all of you!