Laura Ditmer will oversee DNR operations in 15-county area
Region includes 880,000 acres of agricultural, forest and range land in central and southeast Washington
OLYMPIA – Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark today announced the appointment of Laura Ditmer as manager of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Southeast Region. Ditmer will begin her duties on January 4, 2010.
“Laura’s experience managing natural resource and agricultural lands has prepared her to do an outstanding job serving the citizens and economy of central and southeastern Washington,” said Commissioner Goldmark.
Before coming to DNR, Ditmer was a regional manager of capital programs for the Washington State Department of Transportation. She also has been Aquatic Lands Manager in DNR’s South Puget Sound Region and worked for the Skokomish Indian Tribe and Kitsap County. Her private-sector experience includes working as a commercial agriculture portfolio specialist in Ritzville for the Bank of Whitman.
Ditmer has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Design & Planning and a Master’s Certificate in Business Administration and Management from the University of Washington. She also received a Master’s Certificate in Executive Leadership from UW’s Evans School of Public Affairs.
“I look forward to the opportunity to manage the development and stewardship of natural resources in this important region of our state,” Ditmer said. Activity on state trust lands in the DNR Southeast Region include several wind energy projects that are under development.
Ditmer will implement DNR’s land management activities, stewardship, and regulatory programs in Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Walla Walla, Whitman and Yakima counties. The 15-county area includes the cities of Yakima, Wenatchee, Moses Lake, and the Tri-Cities of Kennewick, Pasco and Richland.
From its headquarters in Ellensburg, DNR’s Southeast Region manages 620,000 acres leased to private operators as orchards, vineyards, crop land, grazing and range lands. These lands, along with more than 200,000 acres of forestland in the region, generate non-tax revenue for public schools, universities, and other trust beneficiaries. The region office also implements forest practices regulations and leads wildfire protection of 2 million acres of state and private forestland.
The DNR Southeast Region includes the Ahtanum State Forest and Naneum Ridge State Forest, numerous forest resource production units, 14 recreation sites, and an off-road vehicle park at the Beverly Dunes Recreation Area. About 13,000 acres of DNR-managed lands in the region are conservation lands and include Klickitat Canyon Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA), White Salmon Oak NRCA, and several DNR-managed natural area preserves.
DNR protects our natural resources DNR manages more than 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, range, commercial, agricultural, conservation, and aquatic lands. The department also provides wildfire protection for 12.7 million acres of private and state-owned forestlands. DNR is administered by Peter Goldmark, Washington’s 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889.