Division leadership confirmed

Chief State Forester Fred Souba, Jr. completed another significant step in the DNR Division of Forestry reorganization with the appointment of the leadership team. Earlier this year, Souba changed the administrative structure of the Division to help improve efficiencies and better align staff with the future of the Division’s strategic direction implementation.

Souba created two Forestry Deputy Division Administrator positions. The Field Operations Deputy Administrator will work closely with the state forester, stationed in the northern half of the state, implementing policies directly impacting field operations and building upon external partnerships. The Forestry Services Deputy Administrator will be the key lead for policy and service coordination efforts and needs with staff and partners located in Madison.

Heather Berklund accepted the position of Forestry Field Operations Deputy for the Division effective June 26, 2017. Heather has 17 years of on-the-ground forest management and fire control experience. She started her career with the Division in 2000 following graduation from UW-Stevens Point. After 10 years as an integrated forester in Mercer, she became the Ashland-Iron County Team Leader in the Northwest District. In April of 2016 she became the Woodruff Area Leader in the Northeast District. She brings strong working relationships with a variety of external stakeholders and excellent interpersonal skills to her new position.

Mike Warnke accepted the position of Forestry Services Deputy for the Division effective July 23, 2017. Mike has more than 15 years of experience in the areas of forest management and forest fire control. He is University of Minnesota alum with a B.S. in Forest Resources Policy and Administration. Mike started with DNR as a member of the 2002 forestry class, served as the Forester Ranger in Wisconsin Dells, the Wisconsin Rapids Forestry Team Leader, the Division Budget Manager and most recently the Forest Protection Section Chief.

With the appointment (effective August 20, 2017) of the following Bureau Directors and District Forestry Leaders, the Forestry Leadership team is nearly complete.

Reporting to Heather Berklund:

  • Mary Ann Buenzow: Southwest District Forestry Leader – located in Fitchburg
  • Curt Wilson: Northeast District Forestry Leader – located in Green Bay
  • Tom Duke: Northwest District Forestry Leader – located in Antigo
  • Trent Marty: Forestry Field Operations Bureau Director – to be located in a northern office yet to be determined by the Chief State Forester (Bureau includes the Forest Fire Protection Section, the Public and Private Forestry Section, and the Tax Law Section) 

Reporting to Mike Warnke: 

  • Wendy McCown: Forestry Business Services Bureau Director – located in Madison (Bureau includes the Technology Services Section, the Budget and Grants Section, and the Division Effectiveness Section)
  • Carmen Hardin: Applied Forestry Bureau Director – located in Madison or an alternative location subject to approval by the Chief State Forester (Bureau includes the Reforestation Team, the Forest Health Team, the Urban Forestry Team, the Forest Products Services Team, and the Forest Economics and Ecology Section)
  • Vacant – Forestry Field Services Bureau Director – responsibilities temporarily assigned to Trent Marty and Mike Warnke (Bureau includes the Forestry Equipment Research and Development Center, the Aeronautics Team, and radio operations)

For the next steps in implementing the new Division of Forestry structure, the Forestry Leadership Team will continue to focus on filling priority employee positions.