Faces of the Forest Service

Meet John Lampereur

June 27th, 2018 at 2:00PM

John with his wife, Caroline, and their children at White Sands, New Mexico
John with his wife, Caroline, and their children at White Sands, New Mexico. (Lampereur family photos.)

John’s love of the great outdoors was heavily influenced in childhood. His family had land and a cabin that was surrounded by forests and they often visited the then Nicolet National Forest in northern Wisconsin.

As a kid, John very much enjoyed watching the TV series Lassie and the loveable collie’s exploits with Ranger Stuart. And, on occasion, John would meet USDA Forest Service employees at work near the family cabin so, when he was eleven years old, he decided that working for the Forest Service was the life for him. Thus, in 1989, he began his career on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Now, as fate would have it, John is a silviculturist working on forest/ecosystem restoration projects on the Lakewood/Laona Ranger District of the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest --the forest he spent so much time on as a child.   


What is your favorite part of your job?

Getting to know the land we manage intimately and, along with a lot of other great people, using that knowledge to leave the land in a better condition for future generations.


Who or what inspired you growing up?

My family was the main source of inspiration to pursue a career working in natural resources.  My great grandfather worked in the lumber camps at the turn of the century in what would, one day, become the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forest.  His son, my grandfather, used to tell stories of what it was like “in the old days” when he and his dad would stay with the lumberjacks at the camp and hunt deer during the 1920s through the 1950s. 

Many stories described cutover landscapes, depleted resources, and the work of the local Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) boys. He and my parents impressed on me the importance of caring for our natural resources. This was, later, reinforced by my time in the Boy Scouts, my professors at UW-Stevens Point, and the writings of Aldo Leopold.


John Lampereur with a 28 pound, four ounce turkey he harvested.
John Lampereur with a 28 pound, four ounce turkey he harvested. (Photo courtesy of John Lampereur.)

What do you like to do for fun in your free time?

I like to spend time with my wife and two boys. We like to fish, hunt, camp, and travel. We still go up to my parents’ cabin, which is only forty minutes from our house. In the spring we make maple syrup.


What is your highest personal and professional achievement?

My highest personal achievement is being a husband and a dad. My highest professional achievement has been recruiting, working with, and helping a lot of bright and dedicated young people get started in natural resource careers.


How would you like the public to perceive the work we do at the Forest Service?

I’d like the work we do to reflect the dedication and passion of the Forest Service. The folks I work with really care a lot about their work and have a great deal of pride in what we do. 


What are your future career goals?

To continue doing the best work I can to help maintain and restore the lands that we manage. To continue recruiting people of good character who are called to care for the public’s land. To stay fresh, keep a positive attitude, and continue learning every day.


Do you have any advice for someone wanting to serve their country as a Forest Service employee?

Never lose the passion that inspired you in the first place. Make personal contacts with Forest Service employees and let them know about your interest. Be persistent. Build a positive track record and keep a positive attitude. Do these things and you can’t help but succeed!