Forest Service mourns passing of district ranger
THORNE BAY — The Thorne Bay Ranger District is mourning the loss of District Ranger Kent Nicholson, who passed away unexpectedly last weekend at his home on Prince of Wales Island. Although Nicholson had held his current position in Thorne Bay for less than a year, he enjoyed a long career in Southeast Alaska.
Nicholson joined the Forest Service in Hoonah in 2004, when he was hired as a civil engineering technician. Soon after, Nicholson accepted a promotion to forester at the Petersburg Ranger District, where he held that position for more than three years.
His expertise and strong work ethic garnered him a promotion in late 2007 to timber sale prep program manager, a position in which he oversaw timber sale preparations throughout the Tongass while working out of the Petersburg Supervisor’s Office. Nicholson held that position until he took over as Thorne Bay District Ranger early this year.
Before he began his career with the Forest Service, Nicholson was employed with several timber companies, including Louisiana Pacific, Gateway Forest Products, and Silver Bay Logging. Nicholson lived in the communities of Wrangell and Ketchikan during his years with the timber industry.
Nicholson was valued for his exceptional knowledge of forestry, his positive outlook, and his enthusiastic approach to working on the forest. His loss leaves a significant void on the Tongass.
The Forest Service community is planning a gathering this Friday in Ketchikan to express support for Nicholson’s family and bid their colleague farewell. Nicholson is survived by his wife Sheri, also a Forest Service employee, and two daughters, Jori and Britney. He was 48 years of age.