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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: David Groeschl

Increasing complexity of state lands issues separated forester position

Under Idaho law, the state forester is either the director of the state Department of Lands or his/her designee. The last two state lands directors, George Bacon and Winston Wiggins, served as state forester as well as director, but Bacon appointed David Groeschl as acting state forester in July before he retired, leaving the question of a permanent decision to the next director. Current state Lands Director Tom Schultz said, “Clearly I have to have my hands and feet in the forestry issues, but a lot of those issues take place up in Coeur d'Alene, where the timber basket is.” That's where Groeschl is based. “I think there probably was a day when things were less complex,” Schultz said, and “allowed the director to directly engage in state forestry issues probably more than I can.” These days, the state lands director is engaged in lots of other issues as well, from state-owned cabin site leases to legislation.

Schultz noted that in both Montana and Washington, the state forester is a separate position from the state lands director.

Idaho names new state forester

David Groeschl (it rhymes with special) has been named Idaho's state forester by state Department of Lands Director Tom Schultz. Groeschl, who's been the acting state forester since July, joined IDL in 2008 as the forestry and fire division administrator; prior to that, he was forest management bureau chief for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation from 2004 to 2008, after working in private, industrial and public forestry around the nation. Groeschl holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin in forest management and a master's degree in forestry from Virginia Tech.

Schultz said, “We are lucky to have someone of David’s caliber to take over the reins as the state forester. He brings experience from the private sector and other parts of the country adding to his extensive forestry background in Idaho to help us succeed in our endowment mission to maximize these resources for the beneficiaries of the state.” The state forester is required by law to carry out the  provisions of the Idaho Forestry Act and the rules and regulations of the state Land Board on forest and watershed protection.

Schultz became Idaho's state lands director in August, replacing longtime IDL employee George Bacon, who retired; like Groeschl, Schultz came from Montana, where he was administrator of trust land management for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and had worked since 1997. Schultz, an Air Force veteran, holds a degree in government from the University of Virginia, a master's in political science from the University of Wyoming and a master's in forestry from the University of Montana.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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