New DNR secretary taps most of agency’s new leadership team

Scott Loomans is the new DNR division administrator for fish, wildlife and parks. (Photo by Tim Eisele)

Preston Cole, new secretary of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), has announced numerous appointments to the DNR leadership team.

Probably of most interest to hunters and anglers, he has appointed Scott Loomans to become the new DNR Division of Fish, Wildlife and Parks administrator.

Loomans has a wide background in wildlife, having worked recently as the policy initiatives advisor in the secretary’s office, and previously was the rules specialist for fish and wildlife. He worked as a DNR limited-term employee in wildlife management, and then nine years for the State Assembly Natural Resources Committee.

Loomans is one of the people who gives reporters, and the public, straight answers and should be a great fit in his new position.

Elizabeth Kluesner was appointed DNR deputy secretary. She had been the liaison to local government, and prior to that she was executive assistant to then-DNR Secretary Scott Hassett.

Todd Ambs has been appointed assistant DNR deputy secretary. He previously was the water division administrator from 2003 to 2010 and worked on the Great Lakes Compact. Most recently he worked for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

Cheryl Heilman is the new “legal beagle” at the DNR. She previously was deputy chief counsel and worked for the Minnesota Attorney General’s office.

Fred Souba was reappointed as forestry division administrator and chief state forester. Souba previously worked for New Page Corporation and was chair of the Wisconsin Council on Forestry.

Doug Haag is the internal services division administrator. He previously was the chief of the real estate division at the DNR. Before that he worked for Dane County parks.

Eric Ebersberger is the interim budget director. He has worked in environmental management and worked as the Foxconn project manager for the previous DNR secretary’s office.

Ben Van Pelt is the legislative liaison. He previously served as an aide in the legislature from 2012-16.

Darsi Foss is the environmental management division administrator. She had been director of the remediation and redevelopment program. She previously worked at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Dave Siebert is the new external services division administrator.  He has worked for EPA in Chicago.

Cole has not yet announced his communications director. That person could have a big impact on opening communications between the DNR and the public.

Categories: Wisconsin – Tim Eisele

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