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NWTF Special Announcement: Conservation Organization Restructuring for Changing Times

The NWTF conservation department has grown and moved from a centralized organization, to a decentralized structure with an expanded field staff and supervision. With this change, it is appropriate to restructure the department for contemporary needs.

Effective immediately, the following structure will be in place:

Becky Humphries, Chief Conservation and Operations Officer

Joel Pedersen, Director of Conservation Programs. Pedersen will direct the NWTF National Forestry Program, National Grasslands/Agricultural Program, which includes the Seed Program, as well as our policy, and lands programs. These national level programs provide guidance and support to our field staff and volunteers, and build partnerships with our partners at the national level. Our Making Tracks coordinator and our NRCS liaison position also will now report to Pederson's leadership.

Mark Hatfield, Director of Conservation Administration. Hatfield will direct NWTF budget work in conservation and administration, grants, geographic information systems, planning, analysis, reporting and coordination for the department. He also will serve as NWTF Technical Committee lead.

Mandy Harling, Acting Director of Hunting Heritage Programs. Harling will direct the Hunting Heritage Programs, programing on the Hunting Heritage Center, the Winchester Wild Turkey Museum and the NWTF Hunting Heritage Technical committee.

Tom Hughes, Director of Research and Science. This is a new position charged with bringing the most current biological and human dimension science to the programs of the NWTF. Hughes will step into this role and will run the NWTF research program; research partnerships with other agencies and universities, develop white papers for staff and volunteers on timely science topics and help NWTF staff stay current on the latest scientific work.

Kurt Dyroff, Director of Conservation Operations – Western Region

Brian Zielinski, Director of Conservation Operations – Eastern Region

The above individuals will comprise the conservation team and will meet monthly to address both strategic and operational issues for conservation. 

The field staff structure will remain the same, reporting to Dyroff and Zielinksi. However, new job descriptions for R3 coordinators, biologists, foresters, district biologists, district foresters and conservation field managers have been created. The title of regional biologist will be retired. This new classification system allows for growth within the field structure and provides the opportunity for staff growth, as determined by work load and employee experience.

The NWTF will begin the process of reviewing positions later this fall for implementation of these new descriptions. In addition, we will complete new descriptions for our headquarters staff and benchmarking.

Please join me in congratulating these individuals as they step into new and expanded roles.

Becky Humphries
Chief Conservation & Operations Officer

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