Montana DNRC names new boss at Missoula-based Forestry Division

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation this week named Sonya Germann as head of the agency’s Forestry Division, citing her decades-long experience in the field.

Sue Clark, who served as acting administrator of the division for the past year, has been named deputy administrator.

“Following a national search with many highly qualified candidates, I’m pleased to announce that Sonya will lead our largest division,” DNRC Director John Tubbs said in a statement. “She’s highly respected for her inclusive approach to management, her ability to build strong relations with stakeholders, and a talent for finding solutions to difficult issues.”

A native of Ennis, Germann started with DNRC in 2004 as a part-time employee in the Forestry Division’s seedling nursery. In 2007, she was hired full-time as a planner in the Trust Lands Division’s Forest Management Bureau. She was promoted to chief of that bureau in 2012.

Germann holds a bachelor’s degrees in wildlife biology and liberal studies, both from the University of Montana. She is nearing completion of a master’s degree in resource conservation from the College of Forestry.

“In recent years, Sonya has played an important role in our efforts to implement Good Neighbor Authority projects on U.S. Forest Service lands,” said Tubbs. “She will continue to lead our work on federal partnerships.”

Based in Missoula, the DNRC Forestry Division consists of three major programs, including Fire and Aviation Management, Forestry Assistance, and Business Management.

Forestry Division employees, including service foresters and fire management personnel, also staff six main regional offices and several smaller unit offices around the state.

Clark will continue to serve with agency as Forestry Division’s deputy administrator.

“Sue stepped forward to lead the Forestry Division through one of the most challenging fire seasons in history,” said Tubbs. “She has been with the Forestry Division for 26 years, and has served as chief of the division’s Business Management Bureau for 22 years. She will continue to develop and lead our Forestry teams and programs on a division-wide basis.”