If you talk with Pete Krabbe for even a few minutes, you will hear him speak highly of others: cohorts on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest (GPNF) Advisory Committee, folks from the Lewis County Water Alliance, GPNF forest staff, Cowlitz Tribal Resources, and definitely his peers on the Pinchot Partners board.
"I'm always proud to work with Pinchot Partners," he said.
Krabbe was elected board Chair at the annual meeting in February, after Taylor Aalvik's departure following a 10-year run.
"Pinchot Pete," his email nickname, has been with the group for seven years.
Initially he was drawn in by the collaborative spirit.
"A bunch of people, with very diverse points of view, all in the same room talking about the same thing. Exhilarating."
That "thing" they were discussing was something he knows from experience. As a mill operator, carver, road builder, he raised a family in view of the three peaks that make the valley so unique.
He was there in the heyday of the timber harvest, watched it change almost overnight.
He used the retraining opportunity to study Watershed Restoration, Business and Geology. Having sat in countless meetings with GPNF Interdisciplinary Teams — specialists of all stripes — he has absorbed a deep reserve of technical knowledge.
He combines that with his "real-world" experiences: roadwork, mill work, restoration work, driving the many backroads. "I've done stuff," he said. "I've gotten wet."