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Department of Natural Resources
Chief State Forester (Forestry Division Administrator) 
Job Announcement Code(s): 20-01580

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Classification Title: / JAC:
  Job Working Title:
INDEF AGENCY APPT-20.923(4) ESG 5 20-01580
    Chief State Forester (Forestry Division Administrator)

Type of Employment:
Full Time (40 hrs/week)
Starting salary for this position will be up to $115,294 annually. We also offer a generous benefit package, including health care, vacation, sick leave, and retirement plan.
Julie Jaksa, HR Specialist - Senior (
Bargaining Unit:
Area of Competition:
Deadline to Apply:

Assessment Information:
See "How to Apply" below.

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It takes a special person to be Wisconsin's Chief State Forester, and we're hoping that you're that person! Wisconsin has a nationally-recognized forestry program, and we need a strong, innovative leader with a breadth of forestry knowledge and the skill to develop and maintain essential partnerships and collaborative relationships on a local, state and national basis.

Wisconsin's Division of Forestry is well-established and robust in many ways. It plays an active role on over 17 million acres of forested land, oversees third-party forest certification on over 8 million acres and includes a variety of programs such as:
  •  Forest fire protection program that works closely with volunteer fire departments and
     other state and federal agencies;
  •  An innovative private forestry program that encourages sustainable forest management
     practices by providing a financial tax incentive to landowners;
  •  Forest property management for state forests;
  •  Timber sales and other assistance for county forests and other public lands;
  •  An extensive forest health protection program that extends statewide;
  •  A large urban forestry program that provides assistance to communities;
  •  Tree nurseries that produce millions of seedlings and seeds annually for reforestation;
  •  Business assistance to forest products industries;
  •  An expanded applied forestry research program;
  •  A leader in implementation of the federal Good Neighbor Authority program;
  •  And much more!

It's a multifaceted, integrated program that is carried out by approximately 400 permanent employees and over 200 temporary LTE employees with a budget of approximately $65 million including grant programs.

We encourage you to visit our website to learn more about how the Division of Forestry works in partnership to protect and sustain our forested lands throughout the state to help meet the many demands on the forest both today and for many years to come.

This recruitment is statewide, with the Department having regional offices located in Green Bay, Rhinelander, Eau Claire, Fitchburg, and Milwaukee. Please be aware that the Division of Forestry is primarily located in Rhinelander, and that travel to Madison on a weekly basis may be expected.

Now that you know a bit more about us, we'd like to get to know more about you. It's easy - send us your resume and a letter detailing your qualifications! We'll invite the best-qualified people to an interview, first by Skype or Zoom, and then in-person.

Don't miss this fantastic opportunity to lead one of the best forestry programs in the world!

Position Summary:   
The Chief State Forester (Forestry Division Administrator) provides executive-level leadership for Wisconsin's programs that protect and sustainably manage Wisconsin's 17 million acres of forested land. The position serves as the Administrator of all forestry operations statewide and is responsible for executing the statewide forestry mission with an emphasis on collaboration with forestry stakeholders regarding local, state and national issues to ensure Wisconsin's forestry interests are being represented and served.

Position responsibilities include partnership development and collaboration, program administration, policy development, planning, legislative and intergovernmental liaison, and personnel and fiscal management. Carrying out these duties requires direct consultation and coordination with other states and federal agencies on a routine basis in order to ensure proper consideration of social and economic impacts on governmental units and industries. The Division Administrator provides general supervision to two Deputy Division Administrators.

We encourage you to review the complete position description by clicking here.

Special Notes:   
The selected candidate will be required to pass a background check prior to an offer of employment.

DNR does not sponsor work visas. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify eligibility to work in the United States by completing the required I-9 form upon hire.

Minimally qualified candidates will possess at least the following qualifications:
  •  Bachelor’s or master’s degree in forestry from a program accredited by the Society of
     American Foresters (or an equivalent degree)
  •  Extensive senior leadership experience for a sustainable forest management program or
  •  Significant experience developing, maintaining and improving partnerships and
     collaborative relationships with external partners or stakeholders
  •  Strong communication and interpersonal skills, especially in sensitive situations
  •  Effective listening skills and the ability to seek understanding of multiple viewpoints
  •  Multicultural awareness

Best-qualified candidates will also possess the following experience:
  •  Integrative program management of both forest land management and forest fire
  •  Developing and implementing strategic plans and leading organizational change
  •  Overseeing public policy development or legislative initiatives
  •  Managing large capital and operational budgets

How To Apply:   
Please e-mail a resume and letter detailing your qualifications (maximum of two pages each) to Specify "Chief State Forester" in the subject line. You will receive a confirmation e-mail that your application was successfully received.

All application materials will be evaluated shortly after the deadline date. The best-qualified candidates will be invited to participate in the next step of the selection process.

The DNR is an equal opportunity employer that promotes and values diversity. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability.

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