DNR’s new Enforcement Division director is a familiar name
When I began at Outdoor News in 2004, Mike Hamm was the head of the DNR’s Enforcement Division. He would hold that position for several more years, before a conference-funding fiasco led to his leaving the agency.
In the ensuing years, there were interim heads of the division, and then two permanent directors – Jim Konrad and Ken Soring – who were within several years of retirement when they took the job. After much tumult in the division in the wake of Hamm’s departure, it functioned remarkably well under the guidance of Konrad and Soring.
But the hiring of Rodmen Smith as the division’s new director in some ways ushers in a new era. At 44 years old, Smith has been with the agency a long time – 19 years – but he also has 11 years ahead of him before he’s eligible for retirement. That sort of stability is important as the division continues implementation of a 10-year strategic plan that’s in place through 2025.
Smith is a known quantity who’s worked his way up through the ranks. It wasn’t so long ago that he was working in the field, but he’s also well versed in budgeting, policy formulation, and navigating the complexities of the state Capitol.
All in all, DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr made a good choice in choosing Smith – who most recently had been the division’s assistant director – for the position. See next week’s issue of Outdoor News for a complete story on Smith’s appointment.