Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

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MOHA leader LaBarbera chosen for DNR position

Staff Writer

St Paul The DNR recently hired a familiar face on the Minnesota
conservation front.

Mark LaBarbera, former president of the Minnesota Outdoor
Heritage Alliance, began last Wednesday as the DNR’s director of
communications. LaBarbera replaces C.B. Bylander, who is now the
DNR’s new Fish and Wildlife Division outreach section chief.

“In the long run, we want to help Minnesotans improve their
lives and we want to create better stewards for the environment,”
LaBarbera said. “We want to continue to achieve results and I’m
fortunate to come into a department that is doing great
things.”

LaBarbera has a wide range of conservation-related experience,
most recently working to pass legislation that created the 2004
Minnesota mourning dove hunt.

He is the former senior vice president of the North American
Outdoor Group; past president and former chairman of the board for
the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Association of
Great Lakes Outdoor Writers; and former member of the Congressional
Sportsmen’s Foundation.

LaBarbera also produced and co-hosted a television show and ran
an outdoors-related business, Mark LaBarbera & Associates.

The DNR administration is receptive to a fresh set of eyes, he
said.

“The fact that I’ve never worked in government before, I didn’t
know if that would be a plus or a minus,” LaBarbera said. “It’s
turning out to be a plus.”

LaBarbera is responsible for internal and external
communications.

“It’s really helping people connect with their natural
resources,” he said. “A lot of it is responding to the needs and
the questions of the public.”

LaBarbera was one of four finalists for the Budweiser
Outdoorsman of the Year conservation award in 2002.

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