Forest Service welcomes new Kawishiwi District Ranger
Aaron Kania recently took over as the new permanent district ranger for the Kawishiwi Ranger District, which is headquartered out of Ely.
He most recently served as a Supervisory Ranger with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in southwestern Utah. The Kawishiwi Ranger District is one of five districts on the Superior National Forest.
Kania was raised in rural New England where he developed a love of the woods by traipsing around the forests and creeks, making forts and exploring ancient trails. This love of adventure brought Kania out west for an undergraduate degree in history from Adams State College in southern Colorado. There, Kania worked as a guide, which included backcountry skiing, hiking, backpacking, and the best fun of all, whitewater rafting.
These pursuits led to a profession in the outdoors and seasonal employment with the National Park Service in Bryce Canyon National Park, Dinosaur National Monument as a river ranger, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Winter seasons brought Kania to southern California with the BLM as an EMT at the Imperial Sand Dunes and a Wilderness Ranger.
The next chapter in his career found Kania working as a law enforcement ranger with BLM in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also received a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Utah. The Salt Lake area experiences high visitation with an urban interface. The deserts around Salt Lake experience high levels of fire and Kania served as a fire investigator working to mitigate the fire danger.
His BLM career and growing family, next brought him to north central Wyoming where they bought a small farm along the banks of the Bighorn River. Kania was kept busy working with the ranching, mining, and hunting guide communities to address the multitude of issues that arise when various interests live, work, and enjoy the same lands.
Kania then sought the next challenge of his career in southwestern Utah as a Supervisory Ranger with the BLM. Kania worked on many projects balancing resource use and conservation of the land. The deserts and plateaus of Utah are hardworking landscapes that attract a tremendous number of visitors while also diversifying the local economies. One example is the Piute ATV trail that connects many towns in the area through public lands attracting many visitors to the area.
Ely is not an unknown for Kania. He has family in Minnesota and has spent time exploring the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and surrounding landscapes with his two daughters. Kania is an avid boater with lots of time spent kayaking, rafting and canoeing the rivers, lakes, and oceans of North America.
He has spent much of his free time backpacking along with hunting and fishing some of the best places on earth. Kania said he is excited to add many more stories and adventures in the Ely, Minnesota area.
“Being lucky enough to work on the Superior National Forest is a dream,” he said.
Kania is eager to return to a small town in a beautiful setting found at the end of the road.
“I’m looking forward to better understanding the concerns folks are discussing and working with the community to address those challenges.”