Photo Courtesy Robert Ruffner Kenai Watershed Forum Executive Director Robert Ruffner announced he will be stepping down from the position Friday. He said it will be a slow process that will be accomplished through out the next 6 months.

Photo Courtesy Robert Ruffner Kenai Watershed Forum Executive Director Robert Ruffner announced he will be stepping down from the position Friday. He said it will be a slow process that will be accomplished through out the next 6 months.

Ruffner to step down from Kenai Watershed Forum post

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Monday, January 26, 2015 10:40pm
  • News

After 18 years as the executive director of the Kenai Watershed Forum, Robert Ruffner announced Friday that he will be stepping down.

“It was not an easy decision to leave,” Ruffner said. “This is something I have struggled with for a while.”

Ruffner said he is not going to rush the exit process, which will be steadily carried out for the next six months. The forum works with groups and organizations across the Kenai Peninsula. Ensuring those connections are left in a stable position is a priority, he said.

The forum’s board of directors will be tasked with selecting the next executive director, Ruffner said. If they ask for input, he will offer his opinion, he said.

“The organization has a stellar board of directors and staff and is financially very healthy,” Ruffner said. “Right now is perfect for a timed methodical transition.”

Ruffner said he made the decision to leave because he wants to spend more time with his two children and actually be out in the areas he has been working to protect. The job he has held for almost two decades has shifted into a predominantly administrative responsibility, he said.

Ruffner said he plans to continue to work with the forum in a part-time capacity and focus on special projects. In addition to his work with the forum, Ruffner will also stay with his current positions on the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission, an international conservation organization that also includes Canada, Japan the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation.

Ruffner will continue his work with the Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership, a local conversation group focused on fish habitat preservation.

“I am staying in the area and staying active,” Ruffner said.

Ruffner had lived on the Kenai Peninsula for one year before he applied for the newly created executive director position at the forum.

The forum, which began as a “local citizens group” focused on discussing concerns related to the health of the Kenai River, was quite unique at the time, Ruffner said. The interest also matched up with his academic background, he said.

He was the first employee hired when the organization was incorporated as a business in the mid 1990s, Ruffner said. One of the most admirable aspects of the forum was that the staff and board stuck with the original mission, he said.

 

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulclarion.com.

More in News

tease
Man wanted in relation to Amber Alert arrested; missing teenager found

A Fairbanks man wanted in connection to an Amber Alert was arrested… Continue reading

tease
School district extends meal program deadline amid confusion

Credit for breakfast and lunch meals will be provided as needed to… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski speaks at the Kenai Classic Roundtable at Kenai Peninsula College on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022 near Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Bycatch stirs debate at fisheries roundtable

Bycatch was the issue du jour at Wednesday’s annual Kenai Classic Roundtable… Continue reading

Kenai Peninsula College Director Cheryl Siemers in her office on Aug. 18, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
KPC to welcome back community with open house

One week before the start of the fall semester, Kenai Peninsula College… Continue reading

National Weather Service radar for the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska on Aug. 17, 2022. (Screenshot)
Rain, rain and more rain

Low pressure systems drive wet conditions in Southcentral

Sockeye salmon return to Steep Creek to spawn. Alaska’s overall commercial salmon harvest across all species is currently up 15% from 2021 (2020 for pinks) with Bristol Bay and the Prince William Sound largely carrying the weight while other regions lag, according to data from the most recent Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute weekly salmon harvest update. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Statewide salmon harvest on the upswing compared to last year

Bristol Bay and Prince William Sound are mainly pulling the weight

Jake Dye / Peninsula Clarion
Congressional candidate Mary Peltola responds to a question during a forum at the Kenai Visitor Center on Aug. 3 in Kenai . Early Wednesday, Peltola had earned 38.4% of first-choice votes in a race that will determine who fills Alaska’s lone U.S. House seat until January.
Mary Peltola responds to a question during a forum at the Kenai Visitor Center on Aug. 3, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/Jake Dye)
Democratic candidate Peltola leads U.S. House race early, but Palin may win in final count

Former governor and Republican U.S. House candidate Sarah Palin stands to benefit from ranked choice voting

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID hospitalizations on the rise

86 patients were hospitalized with 10 patients on ventilators

Most Read