Contact(s): Sawyer Briel, DNR communications, 608-282-5334
MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources filled two important supervisory positions, as Bret Owsley and Kris Johansen assume the roles of district wildlife supervisors in the southern and west central districts, respectively.
Owsley graduated from Iowa State University in 2006 with a degree in natural resources ecology and management with a wildlife emphasis. He spent his first six years after college in various wildlife positions in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Florida. Owsley began his career with DNR in 2012 as the Horicon Area Wildlife Supervisor - during this time, he led development efforts for the Horicon Marsh Explorium and served as the Southern District representative on the DNR Deer Advisory Committee. In his spare time, Owsley enjoys being outdoors (specifically hunting), watching his favorite sports teams and spending time with his family.
"I am very excited to continue my work with the Wildlife Management Bureau and interact with DNR staff and partners across the Southern District in this new capacity," said Owsley.
Johansen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he received a bachelors degree in biology with a minor in land use planning. He has held a number of positions since starting his career with the department in 2000, including one year as a limited-term wildlife technician, two years as a project wildlife biologist, three years as a permanent wildlife technician and six years as a wildlife biologist covering Buffalo and Trempealeau counties.
Since 2012, Johansen has served as the Wisconsin Rapids and Black River Falls Area Wildlife Supervisor, where he oversaw work on a wide range of issues, including elk translocation, prairie chicken management and conservation agriculture.
Johansen enjoys any activity that gets him outdoors, especially time spent with his eight year old son Anders while hunting, fishing and trapping. He also enjoys cooking and preserving the bounties of the annual harvest through mason jars and smoke houses.
"I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve as the district leader in the wildlife program for the WCD and work with the talented staff within the district and across the state," said Johansen. "I am honored to be serving in this position and look forward to bringing my previous field experiences, supervisory experience and ability to build and maintain internal and external partnerships to this position."
Contact information for these new wildlife supervisors can be found at dnr.wi.gov, keyword "contact." For more information regarding wildlife management in Wisconsin, search keyword "wildlife."