Jim Petersen

Jim Petersen writes from Montana. He is the founder of the non-profit Evergreen Foundation and the publisher of Evergreen Magazine the Foundation’s periodic journal. The Foundation was established in 1986 to help advance public understanding and support for science based forestry and forest policy.

Jim is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the 2003 Society of American Foresters National Journalism Award, for his work on “The New Pioneers,” a special Evergreen report profiling entrepreneurial solutions to the Southwest’s forest health crisis.

Among Jim’s other awards: Best Forestry Public Relations Program in the Nation, American Forest & Paper Association, 1991; Whistle Punk of the Year, Southern Oregon Timber Industries Association, 1994; National Public Service Award, Association of Consulting Foresters, 1996; Outstanding Contributions to Forestry Education, Northeastern Loggers Association, 1999; Outstanding Forestry Activist in the Western United States, Forest Resources Association, 2000; Woodpecker of the Year Award, Hoo-Hoo International, 2002 and Communicator of the Year Award, Montana Wood Products Association, 2004, for his leadership in the national forest health debate and, in particular, his role in congressional ratification of the Bush Administration’s Healthy Forests Restoration Act.

Majoring in journalism and broadcasting at the University of Idaho, he worked for newspapers in Idaho, Oregon and Illinois before founding his own public relations firm in 1973. He launched Evergreen in 1986 with the help of a group of southern Oregon lumbermen and loggers who shared his interest in generating a national grass roots response to the congressionally mandated federal forest planning process. The magazine is thought to be the most widely read forestry publication in North America.

Jim grew up in Kellogg, Idaho. He worked his way through college in the Bunker Hill Mine, and has family roots in logging, sawmilling, cattle ranching and mining. His father worked for the Bunker Hill Company, once the largest mining and smelting operation in North America, for 34 years. His mother taught school in Montana and Idaho for 32 years.

He is a member of the Society of American Foresters, the Forest History Society, the Intermountain Logging Conference and the Pacific Logging Congress [President, 2007]. He and wife Kathleen live in Bigfork, Montana. Apart from Evergreen, he is presently working on a book covering the post-WWII history of the West’s independent sawmill owners.