New Ranger takes reins of Petersburg District

KETCHIKAN – A new ranger has been selected to guide the Tongass National Forest’s Petersburg Ranger District.

Dave Zimmerman, Timber and Special Forest Products program manager for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in Medford, Ore., was recently named the new Petersburg District Ranger. His arrival date has not yet been determined.

Zimmerman said he is humbled by the selection as a ranger on the largest national forest in the country, and one of his “initial priorities is to get to know my new forest service family and community while providing opportunities for us to all share our expectations.”

The task of leading a ranger district that is nearly the same size as the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest will be “very challenging for sure,” Zimmerman added.

“My current national forest is 1.8 million acres spread across five districts, so working on a district of similar size to my former forest will be exciting,” he said. “This will necessitate continued good communications while building on the good working relationships that already exist.”

Petersburg District’s new ranger said another one of his priorities when he arrives is “to listen and learn about the vision our forest is embracing, and to be able to successfully articulate this to our partners and stakeholders.”

The vision Zimmerman refers to is the forest’s transition to a young growth focused timber program “using a collaborative, sustainable, and integrated approach to resource management that supports resilient forestlands and communities.”

Zimmerman is no stranger to Southeast Alaska. He worked for the Forest Service and private sector in both Juneau and Sitka for nearly two decades.

In 1980, he became the first timber management assistant on the Juneau Ranger District and prior to that position he served as a supervisory forester at the Sitka Supervisor’s Officer. This was a time in the forest’s history when it was organized into three areas, which were the Ketchikan Area, Stikine Area (Petersburg) and the Chatham Area (Sitka).

“It’s like coming home,” he said. “So we are preparing to rekindle and reunite with past friendships and excited to begin engaging and developing new relationships.”

Zimmerman brings extensive knowledge and diverse experience to the Tongass and Petersburg Ranger District. He has worked in three regions, on five national forests, and seven ranger districts. He earned an undergraduate degree in forestry from the University of Missouri. He also attended a Forest Service-sponsored educational program called the Forest Engineering Institute at Oregon State University.

He said his wife, Patricia, is also excited about the move. “My wife and I are looking forward to our Petersburg move with all the excitement that goes with embracing a new community and our new Forest Service family,” he said. “We prefer smaller communities so are looking forward to our new home.”

The Zimmerman’s four children are all adults pursuing their education or vocation. The new ranger said he has a daughter attending Boise State University, a son who is a Marine training to be a pilot, a son who is an engineer in Anchorage, and another who is a contractor in California.

Petersburg is one of 10 ranger districts located on the 16.8-million-acre Tongass. District staff are stewards of designated areas of public lands and manage them for various resource uses to meet the diverse needs of people, including special use permits, watershed protection, recreation, fish, wildlife, subsistence, timber and wilderness areas.

More in Neighbors

Maj. Gina Halverson is co-leader of The Salvation Army Juneau Corps. (Robert DeBerry/The Salvation Army)
Living and Growing: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Ever have to say goodbye unexpectedly? A car accident, a drug overdose,… Continue reading

Visitors look at an art exhibit by Eric and Pam Bealer at Alaska Robotics that is on display until Sunday. (Photo courtesy of the Sitka Conservation Society)
Neighbors briefs

Art show fundraiser features works from Alaska Folk Festival The Sitka Conservation… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski meets with Thunder Mountain High School senior Elizabeth Djajalie in March in Washington, D.C., when Djajalie was one of two Alaskans chosen as delegates for the Senate Youth Program. (Photo courtesy U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office)
Neighbors: Juneau student among four National Honor Society Scholarship Award winners

TMHS senior Elizabeth Djajalie selected from among nearly 17,000 applicants.

The 2024 Alaska Junior Duck Stamp Contest winning painting of an American Wigeon titled “Perusing in the Pond” by Jade Hicks, a student at Thunder Mountain High School. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
THMS student Jade Hicks wins 2024 Alaska Junior Duck Stamp Contest

Jade Hicks, 18, a student at Thunder Mountain High School, took top… Continue reading

(Photo courtesy of The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska)
Neighbors: Tunic returned to the Dakhl’aweidí clan

After more than 50 years, the Wooch dakádin kéet koodás’ (Killerwhales Facing… Continue reading

A handmade ornament from a previous U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree)
Neighbors briefs

Ornaments sought for 2024 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree The Alaska Region of… Continue reading

(Photo by Gina Delrosario)
Living and Growing: Divine Mercy Sunday

Part one of a two-part series

(City and Borough of Juneau photo)
Neighbors Briefs

Registration for Parks & Rec summer camps opens April 1 The City… Continue reading

Easter eggs in their celebratory stage, before figuring out what to do once people have eaten their fill. (Photo by Depositphotos via AP)
Gimme A Smile: Easter Eggs — what to do with them now?

From Little League practice to practicing being POTUS, there’s many ways to get cracking.

A fruit salad that can be adjusted to fit the foods of the season. (Photo by Patty Schied)
Cooking for Pleasure: A Glorious Fruit Salad for a Company Dinner

Most people don’t think of a fruit salad as a dessert. This… Continue reading