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Minnesota DNR fills key vacancies, including Northwest Region fisheries and wildlife manager positions

Marc Bacigalupi has been named as the new DNR Northwest Region fisheries manager in Bemidji, and Blane Klemek, is now the Northwest Region wildlife manager.

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ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has filled several key vacancies within its Division of Fish and Wildlife, including the Northwest Region fisheries and wildlife manager positions.

Division director Dave Olfelt announced the hirings last week in an email to DNR staff.

Marc Bacigalupi is the new Northwest Region fisheries manager in Bemidji, replacing Henry Drewes, who retired in August 2021. Bacigalupi began his career with the DNR in 2001, serving in several field offices before becoming Brainerd area fisheries supervisor in 2010. Ted Sledge, the DNR’s assistant Northwest Region fisheries manager, most recently had been serving as acting region fisheries manager.

Blane Klemek, is now the Northwest Region wildlife manager after serving as acting manager since August 2021, when previous manager John Williams retired. A UND graduate, Klemek began his DNR career in 2002 as a private lands specialist. He later was assistant area wildlife manager in Bemidji and area wildlife supervisor in Detroit Lakes before being named as assistant Northwest Region wildlife manager in 2013.


The bear had been denned up in a culvert that started to flow during the recent warmup and became stuck when he attempted to seek drier cover, said a DNR bear project leader.

Other DNR hirings announced last week:

  • Jamison Wendel, Fisheries Habitat manager. A UND graduate, Wendel came to the DNR in 2014 after working in a variety of fisheries management roles for the Wisconsin DNR, including treaty fisheries biologist. He previously was the Minnesota DNR’s Red River Basin specialist, statewide stream habitat supervisor and most recently acted as statewide fisheries habitat manager.
  • Jamie Gangaware, Wildlife Operations manager. Gangaware has been with DNR since 2004, serving in field offices in Shakopee and Cambridge. Most recently, Gangaware held section-wide operations and development roles in the Wildlife section.
  • Leslie George, Northeast Region fisheries manager in Grand Rapids. George joined the DNR in 2004, working in field offices in Windom and Glenwood. She has been a fisheries supervisor since 2015, most recently in Hinckley.
  • Lindsey Shartell, Northeast Region wildlife manager in Grand Rapids. Shartell began working for the DNR in 2013 as a researcher in the Forest Wildlife Populations and Research group and has served in acting roles as that group’s research group leader and Northeast Region wildlife manager.
  • Seth Goreham, Wildlife Research manager. Goreham most recently was a district manager in the DNR’s Ecological and Water Resources division. He began his public service career in 2010 with the Minnesota Army National Guard as an engineer officer, managed environmental programs for the Guard, worked for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as watershed supervisor and did a stint as DNR Wildlife Research Group manager.
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