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News Brief: DNR Reorganization In A Nutshell

Fall 1995

As you may know, DNR’s reorganization efforts were endorsed by the Natural Resources Board on July 19, 1995. DNR staff is currently developing specific implementation plans to be completed by December 31, 1995. Central office reorganization will begin on January 1, 1996, and implementation to reorganize the regions on July 1, 1996, with the goal of having the department reorganization substantially completed by the end of 1996.

The major components of the reorganization are as follows:

- Six Districts Become Five Regions. The five regions will include consolidation of the two existing northern districts with corresponding adjustments to the four Southern Wisconsin districts. The primary purpose of this consolidation and realignment is to provide greater use of water basin and terrestrial systems and resource management.
- Establishment of Service Centers. The reorganization envisions a shifting of personnel from the central office to the field with the goal of obtaining a field to central office personnel ratio of 2.8 to 1 (from the existing 1.7 to 1) without adding new personnel. Additional field personnel will be located in the 30 to 40 service centers throughout the state with additional site-specific locations called "work sites" for operations such as fire towers and hatcheries. The regional office would manage both the service centers and the work sites.
- Central Office Staffing and Structure. Madison-based bureaus and divisions would continue to play the primary role in development and interpretation of policy and dissemination of information to the field, as well as providing key points of contact with other state agencies, statewide organizations, and the federal government. Madison-based personnel will also attempt to ensure consistent application of DNR policies by its personnel throughout the state.
- New "Technical Divisions." DNR is currently organized along functional lines, with resource management functions in one division and environmental quality in another. DNR will reorganize along "media" divisions that will include air and waste, land, and water programs. Within the air and waste management division will be what is currently the air bureau, the solid and hazardous waste bureau, and a new remediation and cleanup bureau. The new bureau of cleanups will consist of personnel that were previously within the Bureau of Solid and Hazardous Waste (remediation), the Bureau of Water Resources Management (sediments), and the Bureau of Wastewater (lagoons).

Media Contact 

If you have a media request or need an attorney with particular knowledge for comment, please contact Susan Steberl, Director of Marketing, at 414.287.9556 or


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