Aaron Peterson named executive director of Yaak Valley Forest Council

| June 19, 2020 7:56 AM

Aaron Peterson will take over as the next executive director of the Yaak Valley Forest Council, the group announced in a June 16 press release.

A native of Minnesota, Peterson worked as a hydrologic technician for the Kootenai National Forest in the 1990s. He later returned to Minnesota where he served as a Democratic state representative for a rural district.

“The opportunity to work in the wild Yaak will be a rewarding challenge,” Peterson said in a statement.

Council members touted Peterson’s 25 years in policy and project leadership as a major selling point. As well as working as a nonprofit manager and renewable energy project developer, he has experience as a congressional staffer in Washington, D.C., where he focused on rural development, agricultural and environmental issues.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in geology and watershed science from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington.

“I’m eager to start work for a well established group that has led on issues and will continue to influence grizzly bear and forest management policy, lead on climate change, and work with committed partners,” Peterson said.

Peterson takes over from Robyn King, the group’s outgoing executive director. King announced her retirement several months ago after leading the organization for about 20 years.

“I’ve led awe-inspiring staff to keep our last wild places wild, protect inland rainforests, lead on grizzly bear protection and restoration-based forest management,” King said in a statement. “I’ll also be helping out through the end of the year with the transition and look forward to seeing what the next 20 years of community conservation will be for the [forest council].”