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Craig Ranger selected as National Tribal Relations director


September 30, 2003
Tuesday - 12:05 am

A long-time Forest Service employee and native of Alaska is leaving remote island life to toil "inside the beltway."

Dale Kanen, Craig District Ranger, has accepted the director position for the Office of Tribal Relations in the National Forest Service's Washington D.C. office. In his new position, Kanen will oversee the Forest Service's national tribal relations program.

Kanen served as the Craig District Ranger for eight years. The Craig Ranger District, on Prince of Wales Island, is one of 10 ranger districts on the 16.8 million acre Tongass National Forest. The Craig District encompasses one million acres, including 250,000 acres of Native Corporation land owned by seven different corporations.

Kanen will report to his new job early next year and looks forward to the challenge.

"I look forward to working with our Tribes in a manner that supports their self-determination," said Kanen. "I believe that the Forest Service's multiple-use, sustained-yield stewardship culture and the tribal view of man as an inseparable part of the natural balance, form complementary views upon which we can build a strong mutual relationship."

Kanen began his Forest Service career after graduating with honors from the University of Maryland's College of Engineering in 1974.

He worked as an engineer designing and constructing roads and trails on the Chugach and Tongass National Forests from 1974 to 1978. From 1978 to 1992, he designed structural fish enhancement projects in Alaska. He also served as the Federal Subsistence Program Manager in Southeast Alaska from 1992 to 1995 where he worked extensively with the Alaskan Tribes in the development of the Federal Subsistence Program. Kanen assumed his present job as District Ranger in 1995.

The leader of the Tongass National Forest believes Kanen's strong tribal relations experience will bode well for him in his new position.

"I hate to see Dale leave us but he's the perfect choice for the National Tribal Relations job," said Forrest Cole, Tongass National Forest supervisor. "He has extensive experience dealing with a wide variety of Native issues including leading watershed restoration partnerships on private lands and he also was a key leader in the development of the Tribal Liaison Program for the entire Alaska Region."

Kanen said it's been an honor to work hand-in-hand with community leaders in Alaska.

"It has been a privilege to work for so many years in Alaska," said Kanen. "I appreciated the patient instruction and encouragement I received from the villages while I was the Federal Subsistence Program Manager in Sitka. And, most recently, I am so impressed with the tribes, Native Corporations, gear groups, and state and federal agencies that have been working cooperatively on Prince of Wales Island to ensure the health of the watershed surrounding the important Klawock Lake Sockey system. I hope to apply lessons learned from these models of local participation in land stewardship to my new national role with our tribes."

Kanen was born near Glacier Bay, Alaska. He is Tlingit from the Dogsalmon Clan and his Native Alaskan roots run deep.

The Craig District Ranger office that Kanen leads is only six miles from Klawock, a traditional Tlingit village where his mother, Evelyn, spent her early childhood.

His grandmother, the late Lillian Kennedy Cameron, was a member of the first graduating class at Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Alaska.

Kanen, who was a member of the Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 1, has many relatives who still reside in Sitka including his mother Evelyn; sister Yvonne Corduan and her husband, Wolfgang; and his uncle Dr. Ken Cameron and his wife, Alice.

Kanen and his wife, Susan, have three children: Connie, Amanda and Brian.

Source of News Release:

USDA Forest Service - Tongass National Forest
Web Site


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