North Dakota Forest Service

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State Forester Named

Tom Claeys, North Dakota’s Interim State Forester, has been named permanently to the position. Claeys has been with the Forest Service for 28 years in a steady progression of increasing responsibilities, including maintaining his position as Forestry and Fire Management Team Leader while holding the interim role. He will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of long-serving State Forester Larry Kotchman.

NDSU President Dean Bresciani said he was impressed with Claeys’ broad background, extensive work history and broad knowledge of North Dakota and related forest and fire service. Bresciani also expressed appreciation to the screening committee’s diligence and work in managing the search process, which yielded three commendable finalists. The committee was chaired by Charles Stoltenow, assistant director of the NDSU Extension Service and Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Leader.

Programs and services of the North Dakota Forest include management of the Towner State Nursery, tree health and care, community forestry, pre K-12 education, state forest recreational opportunities, fire management and forest stewardship.

As a student-focused, land grant, research university, we serve our citizens. 

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