Lumberjack Resource Conservation & Development Council announced the hiring of Derek Thorn as the FLOW(Forest, Langlade, Oconto Waterways) AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) Coordinator.  Derek was born and raised in the Rhinelander area and attended Three Lakes High School, where he was first introduced to aquatic invasive species as a Clean Boats, Clean Waters Inspector for the Three Lakes Waterfront Association.  Derek attended the University of Wisconsin-Steven Point and received degrees in Water Resource Management, Wildlife Ecology and Management, and Biology.

Derek comes to the position with a wealth of experience, having worked for Oneida & Vilas Counties’ AIS teams and the WDNR. He has taught AIS prevention education and outreach programs, participated in purple loosestrife biocontrol, led Clean Boats, Clean Waters interviews and workshops, conducted aquatic plant surveys, mapping, and identification of native and invasive species and conducted creel surveys, population estimation surveys, and electro-fishing surveys.

Being a part of FLOW, as the AIS Coordinator, is important to Derek. Working to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species is something he values and finds essential. Thorn explained, “Learning about invasive species and protecting our native waterways was my main focus in college. I am incredibly happy I have the opportunity to continue making a difference in the world of aquatic invasive species. ”In his free time, Derek likes to spend time outdoors, fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, and kayaking.

The FLOW position is made possible through the WDNR Surface Water Program and a Community Project Grant from Lumberjack RC&D Council. Each county in Wisconsin receives a WDNR allocation to put toward AIS programming & prevention. Lumberjack RC&D Council, acting as the agent for Forest, Langlade & Oconto Counties, will administer WDNR AIS programming.

Tracy Beckman, Executive Director for Lumberjack stated, “We believe combining resources to be able to hire a full-time coordinator will bring sustainability to surface water programming throughout the tri-county area. Derek is exactly what the program needs and his enthusiasm and passion for the work shows in everything he does.”

Thorn will be responsible to implement WDNR programs such as the Citizen’s Lake Monitoring Network (CLMN), Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW), AIS Snapshot Day, Landing Blitz, Drain Campaign and other DNR initiatives. He will also work closely with lake associations and Forest, Langlade & Oconto counties Land & Water Conservation Departments. To reach Derek, call 715.490.3325 or email .

Conservation Corner is a weekly article produced by the Forest County Land &Water Conservation Department. For more information contact Steve Kircher, County Conservationist-Land Information/GIS Director at 715-478-1387 or by e-mail at .