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Sonya Germann named BLM state director for Montana/Dakotas

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Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning announced Wednesday that Sonya Germann has been selected as the new BLM Montana/Dakotas state director. Germann will assume her position in August.

“Sonya brings a lifetime in Montana and over 20 years of natural resources, conservation and business management experience to her new role,” Stone-Manning said. “She’s highly respected for her inclusive approach to management, her ability to build strong relationships on the ground, and finding solutions to tough issues. Her expertise will benefit both the Bureau of Land Management and the constituencies we serve.”

As BLM Montana/Dakotas state director, Germann will also oversee approximately 600 permanent staff and up to 230 career/temporary seasonal employees who help manage a myriad of public land uses and resources, including energy development, livestock grazing, outdoor recreation, and the protection and control of wild horses and burros.

Germann was Montana’s state forester, and she led Montana’s Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Forestry Division since April 2018 where she led the state’s wildland fire operations, oversaw state and private forestry assistance, and collaborated with governmental and non-governmental partners to address forest health and wildland fire risk issues across ownership boundaries.

Born in Montana and raised on a ranch, Germann first went to work for DNRC in 2004 as a part-time staff person 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.

Prior to working for the DNRC, Germann worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service as a biological sciences technician at the Tongrass National Forest in Alaska and was a community rights organizer for the Montana Human Rights Network.

Germann holds 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 University of Montana College of Forestry.

When not working, Germann said she likes high mountain lake hiking and canoeing stretches of Montana’s wild rivers.

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