January 16, 2004
John Baldwin, who is currently the wildlife biologist at Nebraska National Forest's Bessey Ranger District near Halsey, Neb., has been selected as the Hoonah District Ranger. Baldwin officially reports to his new position Feb. 22.
Baldwin, who lived in Alaska in the early '80s, said he's glad to be returning and looks forward to the challenges of leading a district.
"I am really pleased to be coming back to Alaska and Hoonah seems to be a great place to come back to," said Baldwin. "I have been ready to be a district ranger for a while, but I needed the right place to come and Hoonah is it. I hope to not only lead and inspire the district in the new challenges that are on the horizon with the cruise ships, but to assist the Tongass National Forest in any way I can."
Baldwin has worked as a wildlife biologist on the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota and the Boise National Forest in Idaho. He also was an acting district ranger on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in Nevada.
"I'm pleased John is joining the Tongass team," said Forrest Cole, Tongass National Forest supervisor. "He brings a lot of knowledge and experience to the job. I believe he's a perfect fit for the Hoonah ranger position."
Baldwin believes to be an effective district ranger you "must be a people person."
"I hope to bring an open air of warmth, daily humor, and hard work to the job," said Baldwin. "I try to inspire by example, but I am often the one inspired by the excellence and experience that exists in most positions on a good district."
Baldwin also believes community involvement is a critical part of a ranger district's mission.
"I believe the district must be an integral part of the community and anticipate and be sensitive to its needs," he said. "We (the Forest Service) must not see ourselves as a separate or distinct entity, but as much a part of the community as the school or the local bank."
Baldwin earned his master's degree in zoology and physiology from the University of Wyoming.
Baldwin and his wife, Susan, have three children: Michael, Brian and Joe.
The Hoonah District, located on Chichagof Island, is one of 10 ranger districts located on the 17-million acre Tongass National Forest.
The ranger districts on the Tongass are responsible for managing the national forest for multiple uses to meet the diverse needs of people, including special use permits, timber, recreation, fish, wildlife, subsistence, and wilderness areas.
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