New supervisor coming to IPNF

The USDA Forest Service recently announced the selection of Carl Petrick to become the Forest Supervisor for the Idaho Panhandle National Forests, headquartered in Coeur d’Alene.

Petrick replaces Jeanne Higgins, who retired from the position in February after 41 years of service.

As Forest Supervisor, Petrick will oversee more than 2.5 million acres of National Forest System lands across northern Idaho, eastern Washington and western Montana, bordered by Canada to the north.

The National Forest draws thousands of tourists every year to enjoy world-class recreation opportunities, including iconic lakes, rivers, and mountain ranges, the Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area, the Route of the Hiawatha, the Emerald Creek Garnet Area, and thousands of miles of hiking, biking, and motorized trails.

A large and diverse forest, the Idaho Panhandle National Forests is home to around 400 wildlife species, including two grizzly bear recovery ecosystems, and 73 fish species in the area’s many lakes and rivers.

More than half of all the surface waters in Idaho are located in the panhandle region.

With a permanent workforce of more than 300 employees, the National Forest is divided into five distinct ranger districts and includes the Coeur d’Alene Nursery, one of six nurseries in the National Forest System, which produces nearly 20 million seedlings per year.

“I’m honored to be living and working in such a beautiful part of the country and I’m excited to be working with the many dedicated employees, partners, tribes and agencies to continue providing outstanding natural resources stewardship and public service,” Petrick said.

Petrick has previously served as the Forest Supervisor for the National Forests in Alabama and has been the Forest Supervisor on the National Forests in Mississippi since May 2018.

He has spent more than 30 years in federal land management, beginning his federal career in 1985 at Tyndall Air Force Base as a wildlife technician/biologist and enforcement officer. From there, he worked as the chief of fish and wildlife management at Eglin Air Force Base until 2003. Petrick’s Forest Service career began in 2003 as the natural resources staff officer for the National Forests in Florida.

An avid outdoorsman, Petrick enjoys hunting and fishing, as well as physical fitness and college football. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife management from Auburn University. Petrick is married to his wife Kim, and has three sons: Kyle, Eric, and Alex.

Kim Pierson serves as acting Forest Supervisor until Petrick arrives in June.