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Long-time Petersburg resident retires from Forest Service


February 20, 2004
Friday - 12:10 am

A long-time Petersburg resident recently retired after working more than 26 years in the Tongass National Forest.

Everett Kissinger, a soil scientist, arrived in Petersburg 26 years ago and served his entire

Everett Kissinger works on Kuiu Island.
Photo by Jim Brainard
Forest Service career in the largest national forest in the United States.

When Kissinger retired in January, he had accrued more than 36 years of public service. Before arriving in Southeast Alaska, he worked 10 years for the Soil Conversation Service in Wisconsin.

Kissinger said it feels good to be retired but it is "too early to tell" what he'll miss most about working on the forest.

But, it's not too early for Tongass employees to tell they already miss Kissinger.

"You really can't replace that kind of corporate knowledge," said Forrest Cole, Tongass National Forest supervisor. "Everett has many years of experience working in the Tongass. Although we wish him all the best we've lost an important member of our team. I'm just glad he's staying in Petersburg we may have to consult with him once in a while."

Kissinger's former supervisor agrees.

"Everett is one of those foundational people in an organization that you simply can't replace," said Scott Snelson, Wildlife, Fish, Watershed, Subsistence and Soils staff officer. "When he walked out the door so did nearly three decades of outstanding resource knowledge and time won 'know how.' It's going to take us a while to get back to that level of expertise. I'm missing him already in a big way."

Kissinger's accomplishments with the Tongass are extensive.

A few of his career highlights include creating a landslide inventory process, heading up an experimental muskeg draining project to study the effects on forest growth, initiating an ecological mapping system and developing a process to better understand patterns of windthrow in the forest.

"Everett's contributions to resource stewardship will be greatly missed by the Tongass," said Steve Paustian, Hydrology Program manager. "He was instrumental in the development of the first comprehensive soil resource inventory for the forest. He has worked closely with other agencies in the development of wetland protection policies and in the certification of

Everett Kissinger on the Chugach Ranger Boat at the mouth of Rowan Bay on the west coast of Kuiu Island.
Photo by Jim Brainard
wetland delineators. Most recently, Everett spearheaded a project to develop a landslide inventory for the entire Tongass. Probably his most important and lasting contribution has been as a mentor to numerous watershed specialists in the ecological stewardship approach to multiple-use forest management."

Although his technical expertise and productivity will be sorely missed, many of his cohorts will miss Kissinger for other reasons.

"If I had to describe Everett in two words they would be the 'quiet professional,'" said Paustian, who has worked with Kissinger for more than two decades.

"Everett is well-respected throughout the Tongass and in the local community," said Dick Aho, fish biologist. "He won't praise himself so I'll do it for him. He's humble, thoughtful just a great all-around person."

Kissinger said his retirement plans include working on woodworking projects, hunting, gardening and traveling.

Kissinger is married. His wife, Kristine, three daughters, and eight grandchildren, reside in Petersburg. He also has a daughter and two grandchildren who live in Kodiak.



Source of News Release & Photos:

U.S. Forest Service - Tongass National Forest
Web Site


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