Jim Gumm has never been to the Croatan National Forest.

Jim Gumm has never been to the Croatan National Forest. But he has an idea of what it will be like when he arrives next week to serve as its new district ranger.

“I hope to bring a real love for the land and also for the people that both work there and enjoy it,” Gumm said. “It’s been my experience with the forest service that I can expect to have a lot of really high quality, prescient people that work there on the district and a lot of really engaged members of the public that know a lot about the land because they have grown up with it. I look forward to making things better and I really look forward to working with quality people, and I’m very excited about the opportunities.”

Gumm is expected to start his duties as district ranger of the 160,000-acre Croatan National Forest on Monday.

Most recently, Gumm served as the district ranger of the Guadalupe district in the Lincoln National Forest in New Mexico. He has managed that 288,540 acres since 2011. Before that, he was a public information officer and as an administrative specialist from 2008 to 2011 in the Modoc National Forest in California.

Before beginning his time at the forest service, Gumm worked in communications, operations and management in the private sector. He is a veteran of the U.S. air Force and has experience working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency after natural disasters.

Gumm has a master’s degree in organizational communications from Southeastern Louisiana University, a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from Southern Illinois University and an associate’s degree in construction technology from the Community College of the Air Force.

“Jim brings a wide range of work experience, ranging from fire communications to operations, to the Croatan National Forest,” Kristin Bail, forest supervisor for the U.S. Forest Service National Forests, said in a statement. “He is a proven leader who builds coalitions and partnerships. These skills will serve him well as he cares for land and serves our visitors and partners of this coastal plain forest.”

Gumm said he was looking forward to working in the Croatan National Forest.

 “It is a real honor to have been selected for this position,” he said. “I look forward to working with the Forest Service staff and many partners who share a passion for the very special lands of the Croatan National Forest.”