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New director named for Idaho agency that manages state land

BOISE – Idaho officials have named a new director to lead a state agency that manages 2.4 million acres of state lands that generate money mostly for public schools.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and other members of the Idaho Land Board on Friday selected Dustin Miller to lead the Idaho Department of Lands.

Miller, 38, has been the administrator of the Governor’s Office of Species Conservation and a member of the Governor’s Natural Resources Cabinet since 2012. He has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of Idaho. He started his career as a wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service.

“His strength is building strong working relationships across state and federal agencies, user groups, the Idaho Legislature, and others to solve complex natural resource issues,” Otter said in a statement.

Miller must pass a background check, the Idaho Press reported, but has already accepted the job that pays $135,000 a year.

“I am honored to be selected by the Land Board,” Miller said in statement. “I value Idaho and its abundant natural resources, and I am excited to lead the hard-working and dedicated people at the Department of Lands in the important work they do for Idahoans.”

He will lead more than 320 full-time employees and 250 seasonal employees.

Miller replaces Tom Schultz, who left in January to become vice president of government affairs and community outreach for the Idaho Forest Group, a family-owned wood products company.

David Groeschl, state forester and deputy director of the agency, had been serving as interim director.

He chose not to apply for the position and remain in his current job based in Coeur d’Alene.


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