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Top Minnesota DNR forestry leaders transferred

By John Meyers
Duluth News Tribune

The state’s top two foresters were removed from their jobs last month in a major shakeup at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Skidder MN Forest Ind
Brad Nelson of Nelson Logging in Hermantown uses a grapple skidder to move logged birch trees into position so they can be sawed. Nelson was logging east of Cotton. Minnesota DNR Commissioner Ton Landwehr says changes in leadership in the DNR's Forestry Division are being made to try to get timber to loggers and mills more quickly. (2008 file / News Tribune)

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said Dave Epperly, Forestry Division director, will be transferred within the division while Bob Tomlinson, assistant director, was transferred into the DNR’s Division of Lands and Minerals.

The changes were announced to DNR staff but weren’t made public at the time.

Epperly will remain on as acting director until a replacement is found in a national search, Landwehr told the News Tribune on Monday. He said there was no crisis in the division or shift in philosophy for the state’s forestry management efforts.

Landwehr said some of the changes, including moving from two to one assistant division directors, began before he became commissioner early this year. But he added that a change in leadership was needed, especially to more quickly get timber from state lands through the pipeline to loggers and mills.

 

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