MANISTEE — Scott Peedle has always loved being outdoors, so it’s no surprise he entered a profession that involves a lot of time in the woods.
Peedle recently reported for his first day of duty as the new Cadillac/Manistee District Ranger for the Huron-Manistee National Forests. From his office in Manistee, Peedle will oversee natural resources and administrative operations throughout the district.
A native of Michigan, Peedle graduated from Pine River Area High School in LeRoy in 1992. He then received a bachelor’s in surveying engineering from Ferris State University and went on to work for a private engineering consulting company. Peedle joined the USDA Forest Service in 2008 as a Transportation Engineer for the Huron-Manistee National Forests and became Forest Engineer in 2013.
Peedle said he will be responsible for 250,000 acres of national forest land from the shore of Lake Michigan to Cadillac, covering Mason, Wexford and Manistee counties, in addition to the northern part of Lake County.
The responsibilities of a ranger are diverse and include everything from the management of wildland fires, aquatic resources, recreational opportunities, fisheries, wildlife and timber.
One of the most unique things Peedle has noticed about his swath of national forest land is the rivers, including the Manistee, Bear Creek and Pine, which he described as being “pristine‘ and some of the “best fisheries in the world.‘
As the district ranger, Peedle said carefully managing the use of these rivers will be one of his top priorities.
“It’s going to be a big focus for us this year,‘ Peedle said. “We want people to have fun but controlled and appropriate fun. We want to foster an environment that is appropriate for people of all ages.‘
This summer, Peedle said there will be some interns at landing sites and on the river interacting with users and, if need be, educating them on how to be respectful of the natural resources and other people on the river.
“What we really want to do is engage with people and let them police themselves,‘ Peedle said.
Being an engineer, Peedle said he has a good understanding of existing infrastructure and how to maintain it in a sustainable fashion. He also said his background gives him the ability to take a broad look at the forest landscape rather than focusing on one aspect.
“I believe my diverse professional background gives me a unique perspective and reduces bias toward any one program area,‘ said Peedle. “The Forest Service manages National Forest Lands for multiple resources, and they all need to be given equal consideration.‘
Peedle previously served the forests in many leadership roles. Most recently, he served as the Acting Operations Staff Officer out of Cadillac. He has also served as the Acting District Ranger in Mio and the Acting District Ranger in Baldwin.
“Scott has a proven track record of leadership and a balanced understanding of the community and the forests,‘ said Forest Supervisor Leslie Auriemmo. “I am greatly looking forward to him being in the leadership role as Cadillac/Manistee District Ranger.‘
With the help of his resource specialists, without whom the job would be impossible, Peedle said he is excited to help sustain and improve the forest health to “preserve the diverse recreational activities of this part of Michigan for generations to come.‘