skip to content
Primary navigation

Pete Aube

Aube at a timber sale resulting from thinning on National Forest land.As a fifth grader in Faribault, Minnesota, Pete Aube was struck by a sudden realization: he wanted to be a forester. Standing before Aube’s class, DNR forester Dan Amel was talking about his work in Minnesota’s woods. Aube, born into a farm family and at home in the outdoors, listened intently. If I could have any job, he remembers thinking at the time, this would be it. Today, after a 40-year career in forestry, Aube reflects back on this elementary school revelation. “I was a lucky one,” he says. “I knew what I wanted to do way back then and it gave me a directed life path.”  

The first in his family to attend college, Aube graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Forestry in 1978 before earning his M.S. in Forest Economics from the University in 1980. Working as a forest economist, area forester, and strategic planning manager for Potlatch in the ‘80s, Aube justified growing investments in forestry, including a program which planted 2 million trees annually. Later in his career, Aube visited hundreds of sawmills across North America before helping to design, build, and manage Potlatch’s Bemidji Sawmill, Minnesota’s largest sawmill, which he operated from 1990 to 2017. In 2007 and 2008, Aube combined his role as sawmill operator with that of Lake States resource manager, overseeing 370,000 acres of forested land in Minnesota and Wisconsin. “I consider myself so fortunate to have had opportunities to practice forestry, my love, in the state I grew up in and where my family lives,” Aube says.  

Now retired, Aube stewards the family tree farm he purchased in 2017, sharing his love of forestry with his three adult children and five grandchildren. He also volunteers his time on boards in economic development, healthcare, and community philanthropy, and has received commendations such as the Charlie Naylor Lifetime Achievement Award, all while remaining a dedicated advocate for all things forestry. In 2019, Governor Tim Walz appointed Aube to the position of Chair of the Minnesota Forest Resources Council. To this role, Aube brings four decades of forestry experience as well as a passion for organizational performance achieved through teamwork, collaboration, and cooperation. 

After receiving this appointment, Aube made it his mission to get to know the 16 stakeholder representatives who serve alongside him on the Council. “I put on a couple of thousand miles and took a couple of months visiting every one of [the Council members],” Aube says. As Chair, Aube feels it is his responsibility to stay connected with each Council member as well as the diverse groups they represent, from private forest landowners to commercial loggers to environmental organizations and more. During the Council’s January 2021 meeting, Governor Walz commended Council members for their ability to create solutions through consensus, an increasingly lost art in today’s world. “[As the Governor said,] the Council is an example of where citizen advisory is working,” Aube says. “That’s good – it’s what we wanted to hear, and we’ll work for even better going forward.” 

This year, the Council celebrated 25 years of service to the people and forests of Minnesota. As Chair, Aube is excited about the potential of the coming 25 years. Aube wants to see the Council rise to the challenge of making forestry within Minnesota more resilient and sustainable in the face of tests such as climate change, a goal he believes can be accomplished by creating synergy between Council members and stakeholders. Ultimately, Aube says, “I want to leave things better than I found them… If I can help, then I want to do that.” 

To connect with Chair Pete Aube, contact him at The Minnesota Forest Resources Council exists to support and advocate for Minnesotans like you! Please join us for our bimonthly public meetings, with Zoom links available via our calendar. We hope to see you there. 

As a junior at the University of Minnesota, Aube interned with the Nekoosa-Edwards Paper Company in Wisconsin, where his job involved cruising 80,000 acres of pine. “It absolutely inspired me with the productivity around pine,” Aube says of the experience. 
Aube has shared his love of sustainable forestry with his family. The Aubes actively manage their Certified Family Forest. “That land will be in our family forever,” Aube says. “We can take care of things and have it for ourselves and the next generation.” 
Aube with his daughter and grandchildren.
Aube with Minnesota’s U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. “I promote forestry and advocate for forestry any time I can,” Aube says. “I’m still working with Amy Klobuchar around some of the things she’s doing in the Senate right now, not only for Minnesota but on behalf of forestry in the U.S.” 

At Potlatch, Aube worked as a forest economist, area forester, and strategic planning manager before going on to operate Potlatch’s Bemidji Sawmill and oversee 370,000 acres of land across Minnesota and Wisconsin as the Lake States resource manager.

At Potlatch, Aube worked as a forest economist, area forester, and strategic planning manager before going on to operate Potlatch’s Bemidji Sawmill and oversee 370,000 acres of land across Minnesota and Wisconsin as the Lake States resource manager. 

back to top