Northern Minnesota staff member hired


Ian Kimmer

Ian Kimmer

The Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness is pleased to announce that the organization has hired Ian Kimmer for the new position of Northern Communities Program Director.

In this role, Ian will help move the center of gravity of the Friends towards the communities around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. His job will be to work with conservation leaders, engage his neighbors in conversations about protecting the BWCAW from threats such as sulfide mining, climate change, and invasive species, and give a voice to those that appreciate the value the wild character of the area adds to their communities.

“I have heard tremendous support for this new position from many people, both those who live near the BWCAW and those who don’t,” Friends executive director Paul Danicic said. “This is a strategic move to grow the Friends and increase what we are capable of achieving. Thank you to all of our growing membership for allowing us to expand in this bold and exciting manner.”

In the months ahead, Ian will meet with local citizens, elected officials, business leaders and tribal authorities. A great deal of his job will be listening. By first coming to a deep understanding of what initiatives are important for the communities around the wilderness, the Friends will better learn what roles conservationists can play. He will help the Friends support community development in concert with the preservation of the great resource of public lands in the area. Ian will also participate in community events, putting a familiar face on the Friends.

Ian already knows the communities of northern Minnesota well. He keeps busy with hunting and fishing, politics, music, and of course, wilderness travel. Being the father of two young kids is also a big part of his life, and a big reason he says he wants to see thriving towns in the region. That means not just jobs but cultural and educational opportunities, a healthy environment, and a wild Boundary Waters.

More about Ian

Ian Kimmer graduated from the University of Minnesota Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy. He did his senior thesis on Environmental Policy and Issue Analysis. His awards included Dean’s List, Honors Department member and a Waller Scholar in Political Science. Most recently, he worked as a project manager and operations supervisor for Service 800 Inc., a global market research company. He has developed programs and presented for the Earth Museum, a paleontological and geological education program; owned and managed an organic farm in Embarrass, MN; and worked as a U.S. senator’s staff assistant. He has also served as a legislative intern for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy focusing on wilderness preservation.

In addition, Ian is active in his community, having been elected to represent local interests in the 8th Congressional District and at State conventions. He also is a contributing writer for Hometown Focus. Ian’s interests include year-round wilderness recreation (his children do not suffer from Nature Deficit Disorder!), music, paleontology, fishing and advocating for family and community development.

He currently lives in Virginia, MN with his two children, aged six and three.

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