MISSOULA, Mont. -

The following release was sent out by the Lolo National Forest.

Paul Matter, who has served as the Lolo National Forest’s Missoula District Ranger since 2009, has announced he will be retiring next month after a nearly 40 year career.

“When I reflect back on the last five years I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by,” Matter said. “It seems like only yesterday that I arrived in Missoula.”

Matter began his career with the Forest Service on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in 1976 as a seasonal surveying aid. He later worked as a firefighter with the Texas Canyon Hotshots on the Angeles National Forest in California, and beginning in 1979 worked for several years on the Eldorado National Forest in the Lake Tahoe area of northern California. He later worked on the Eldorado and Klamath National Forests and in 1998 he was selected as the Hoonah District Ranger on the Tongass National forest. He served there until accepting a position as the Detroit District Ranger on the Willamette National Forest in Oregon.

Matter received a Bachelor of Science in forestry from Michigan State University in 1979. He also completed a two year program in forest engineering from Oregon State University in 1991.

As he prepares to leave federal service Matter noted the unique opportunity he had in Missoula to work with many varied groups and individuals.

“Working with local government it was apparent Missoula and Granite County have excellent government leadership…and I have enjoyed working with the business community… the local non-profit organizations are the best anywhere,” Matter said. “I especially want to thank The Nature Conservancy staff for their great support and accomplishments on the Missoula Ranger District and Lolo National Forest.”  

Matter’s next move will be to Alaska to be closer to friends and family there.

“I have had a wonderful career and lived in many beautiful places.  It will be hard leaving all the friends and great co-workers here in Missoula, but it is time for my wife Pamela and I to move closer to family in Alaska and start the next phase of our lives.”