The Department of Natural Resources has announced two new field managers responsible for overseeing its Land Division programs in the northern and northeastern parts of Wisconsin. The Land Division includes the wildlife management, parks and recreations, facilities and lands and endangered resources programs.

Paul Bruggink will be overseeing the Land Division in northern Wisconsin, replacing Bill Smith who recently retired from the agency, and Aaron Buchholtz will be overseeing the Land Division programs in the northeast, filling the position formerly held by Jean Romback-Bartels who is now DNR Northeast Region director.

They will be responsible for direct supervision of the Land and Facilities staff in the field, including property managers, engineers, construction representatives, real estate staff and endangered resources ecologists, according to Kurt Thiede, DNR Land Division Administrator.

“In addition to their supervisory roles they are also key points of integration for the wildlife, parks and endangered resources programs in the field on important agency initiatives that cross program and division boundaries, like master planning, agency enterprise implementation and forest certification,” Thiede said.

Bruggink started with the DNR in 1981 as a seasonal park ranger at Harrington Beach State Park and progressed through a number positions within the DNR, including forestry technician, land and forestry team leader, area wildlife biologist, assistant park superintendent, park superintendent, recreation specialist, Northern Region Lands And Facilities team supervisor, and most recently serving as the parks program supervisor in the northeast.

Buchholtz graduated from UW-Stevens Point in 1994 with a degree in Wildlife Management and has been with the DNR since 2001, serving as the wildlife biologist in northern Marinette County in Wausaukee and in Mishicot covering Manitowoc, Kewaunee and Door counties. He previously worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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