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Southern Minn. DNR offices consolidate

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is consolidating several southern region field offices to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

DNR forestry offices in New Ulm, Mankato, and Willmar have been closed, with staff assigned to other state forestry offices. The functions of those offices will be assumed by other forestry offices, DNR divisions, partner agencies or private contractors.

The DNR Fish & Wildlife Division has also moved operations at its Willmar office to Sibley State Park. The Appleton office has moved to the Lac qui Parle Wildlife and Parks Headquarters.

"These decisions were made jointly by our regional and divisional management as part of our ongoing efforts to streamline processes to better deliver services," said DNR Southern Region Director Mark Matuska. "We know change is difficult, but our goal is to maintain services to our customers at less cost. In addition, we anticipate increased visitor traffic to these park locations."

In other changes, the DNR has re-located Mankato staff from the divisions of Waters and Ecological Resources to Minneopa State Park.

Additionally, a wildlife lakes specialist and a private lands specialist will be re-assigned from Mankato to the DNR Farmland Wildlife Populations and Research Station near Madelia.