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Four wildlife biologists hired to to serve in western Wisconsin

EAU CLAIRE – Four new wildlife biologists will be serving western Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources has announced.

The biologists will provide habitat management and public recreation services on state wildlife areas; monitor wildlife populations from deer to ducks, and provide a wide range of services to the public.

The new biologists, together with, existing wildlife biologists and technicians, conduct land and wildlife management activities from prescribed burning to access maintenance on the vast network of Wildlife Management Area’s throughout Wisconsin. Wildlife areas are used by the public for educational activities like school field trips, and recreational uses like hiking, bird watching, hunting, trapping and fishing.

“I am excited to welcome this group of dedicated and enthusiastic professionals,” said Kris Belling, DNR wildlife management supervisor western Wisconsin. Their knowledge and passion for conserving Wisconsin’s wildlife will benefit both the wildlife and the many people who value and enjoy our natural resources.”

Belling said the new biologists have undergraduate, and in many cases, graduate degrees in a wildlife related field.

“The strong academic training and work experience that this new group of biologists brings to the DNR will be a great asset to the state as they plan and conduct land management activities (habitat restoration, exotic plant control, and prescribed burns) and protect and manage wildlife populations. Additionally, their responsibilities include overseeing public recreation activities; such as hunting, and trapping that occur on the lands they manage, as well as construction of public use facilities” Belling said.

The biologists will also serve the citizens in their community by responding to public inquiries, participating in Learn To Hunt and Hunter Safety Programs and attending meetings with local governments and constituents.

“We are delighted that this new class of wildlife biologists can fill the gaps in coverage we had across the state and strengthen our service to the citizens of Wisconsin and the wildlife they cherish,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “Our local field staff are vital to building effective wildlife conservation partnerships within the communities and counties they serve.”

The new western Wisconsin wildlife biologists include:

-- Ryan Haffele is stationed in Baldwin and manages the Western Prairie Habitat Restoration Area, Cylon, St. Croix Islands, Clays Corner, Manion, Pierce County Islands and other wildlife areas in St. Croix and Pierce counties. Haffele can be contacted at: 715-684-2914 ext. 118 or

-- Bill Hogseth is stationed in Eau Claire and manages the Lawin, Augusta, Hallie Marsh, and Yohnk wildlife areas in Eau Claire and Chippewa counties. Hogseth can be contacted at 715-839-3771 or

-- Mark Rasmussen is stationed in Alma and manages Tiffany, Whitman Dam, Lakes Coulee, Tamarack, Big Swamp, Borst Valley, and Chimney Rock wildlife areas in Buffalo and Trempealeau counties. Rasmussen can be contacted at 608-685-6222 or

-- Scott Roepke is stationed in Black River Falls and manages South Beaver Creek, North Bend Bottoms, Morgan Marsh, West Taylor, Dike 17 and Spruce Lake wildlife areas in Clark and Jackson counties. Roepke can be contacted at 715-284-1403 or Scott.Roepke@Wisconsin.Gov.

To learn more about Wisconsin’s Wildlife Program please visit: and type, ”Wildlife” in the search box to get an overview of what the DNR does to conserve and protect our wildlife populations and habitats; or type “wildlife areas” in the search box to get links to all the state wildlife areas and other state managed lands.