There's a new Ranger in town.
Jason Anderson, 38, is now at the helm of the U.S. Forest Service office in Petersburg. An avid-outdoorsman, the father of five, said he is welcoming the responsibility of the Tongass National Forest.
“The job of forest ranger has changed dramatically in the past 100 years. It's got the same purpose, but technology has caught up,” Anderson said. “I guess the earliest rangers had a horse and a gun, or in this area their main purpose was to aid the fishing industry,” he added.
“It's about balancing out what to do, how to do it, and when to do it,” he said. “It's rugged, isolated and idealistic,” he added.
Anderson's co-workers tease him using a voice from the movie The Matrix, saying “Mr. Anderson,” but he actually has more of a tie to another film, American Graffiti which was shot in Modesto, Calif., where Anderson grew up.
Anderson, who attended Modesto Junior College, and later California State University, Stanislaus, said he became interested in forestry and biology. But it wasn't until he attended a symposium for natural resource management that he really found his calling, he said.
Anderson worked along the Stanislaus River in California and learned about salmon fishing and river resources.
Currently, Anderson is in charge of a number of projects ranging from signage along Mitkof Highway and trail improvements to cabin rebuilds in a number of areas.