Endangered resources chief named DNR executive assistant

Madison DNR secretary Darrell Bazzell continued rounding out his
administrative team by inviting endangered resources chief Barbara
Zellmer to be the agency’s executive assistant.

Zellmer was the chief of the DNR’s Endangered Resources
Ecosystem and Diversity Conservation Section. She has been with the
DNR for 21 years.

“Barb recognizes the importance of integrating issues and
approaches across the DNR,” Bazzell said.

In her duties as executive assistant, Zellmer will be
responsible for agency operation and will act as a natural
resources policy advisor and special natural resources projects
manager for Bazzell.

She is to begin her new job June 18. Her salary had not been set
as of press time.

“Working in the endangered resources program has taught me a
great deal about how connected natural resources management issues
are,” Zellmer said. “It’s apparent that we wouldn’t have been
successful in restoring trumpeter swans and wouldn’t even be able
to think about reintroducing whooping cranes if we didn’t have good
habitat and healthy ecosystems.”

In early March, Bazzell named then-Executive Assistant Franc
Fennessy to be deputy secretary. At that time, Bazzell also named
two special assistants. He named 31-year DNR attorney James Kurtz
to serve as special advisor to the secretary on agricultural
matters, and 15-year DNR attorney Tim Andryk as special assistant
to the secretary on conservation matters.

Although Bazzell and Fennessy both support hunting and trapping,
neither had hunted prior to this year. Bazzell applied for a black
bear kill permit this year, but will have to wait several years to
get a tag. He has said he would like to start hunting.

Zellmer is another non-hunter, although she does enjoy camping,
hiking and fishing.

Bazzell selected Andryk as a conservation assistant because
Andryk is an avid hunter and fisherman.

“Tim is well-known to hunting and fishing groups and his role is
to assure the public’s outdoor recreational needs, particularly in
the areas of hunting, fishing, and trapping, receive full
attention,” Bazzell said.

Conservation Congress chairman Steve Oestreicher, of Harshaw,
said he is not concerned that Zellmer is not a hunter.

“I have a lot of faith in Darrell’s choice,” Oestreicher said.
“He understands the importance of our tradition of hunting, fishing
and trapping and that’s one reason why we have Tim Andryk where
he’s at today. Darrell has a lot of confidence in Barb and I’m sure
she will do a fine job.”

Zellmer has served as the chief of Ecosystem and Diversity
Conservation since 1996. As chief, she was responsible for programs
for protection and management of rare and nongame species,
including coordinating the state natural areas program and the
DNR’s involvement in the whooping crane reintroduction. Before
that, she served in the DNR’s Hazardous Waste Section for 15
years.

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