August 27, 2019

Rhinelander, WI – Rebekah Luedtke of Grand Rapids, Minnesota has been chosen to lead the Wisconsin County Forests Association (WCFA) as its next Executive Director. WCFA represents the forestry interests of its 29 member counties with lands enrolled under Wisconsin’s County Forest Law. Collectively these counties manage over 2.4 million acres of forest lands, the largest public ownership in Wisconsin. The focus of the Wisconsin County Forests is to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of forest ecosystems while providing benefits to the public.

“Wisconsin’s County Forest system is the largest of its kind in the world and WCFA plays a significant role in its success. Rebekah will bring a wealth of forestry and wildland fire experience to this position, with 14 years of working for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR), Division of Forestry. Her excellent organizational and communication skills will be a tremendous asset as we continue to move the Association forward. ,” stated Norman Bickford, President of the WCFA Board of Directors.

Most recently Luedtke served as Center Manager for Minnesota Interagency Coordination Center (MNCC) overseeing and administrating the mobilization of wildland fire resources to wildfire and all hazard incidents inside and outside of Minnesota. This position required extensive coordination, supervising and communicating with center staff, as well as interagency leadership with land management officials and external stakeholders. She currently manages a staff of 10 plus individuals at the Center.

Prior to the MNCC, Luedtke was the Northeast Region Timber Program Coordinator for MNDNR providing program direction, administration and technical support for the State Forest Management programs in the MNDNR’s Northeast Region. She also worked as a field forester for MNDNR for 7 ½ years stationed in Orr and Aitkin, Minnesota.

“I am very excited to be joining the Wisconsin County Forests Association. I feel this opportunity is an ideal blend of my education and experience in forestry with my knowledge, skills and abilities in coordination and organizational management,” said Luedtke, “I am eager to be continuing the great work of Jane Severt, and looking forward to being an advocate for an exceptional land management organization, such as WCFA, to carry out their mission of ensuring long-term forest health and sustainability.”

Luedtke graduated from Iowa State University in May, 2005 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry. She has received numerous awards during her career including the MNDNR Division of Forestry Excellence Award in 2014, Division of Forestry Team Award of Excellence in 2015 and Minnesota Incident Command System Leadership Award in 2016. She is an effective communicator and has instructed at workshops and trainings, facilitated multiple group meetings and sits on a number of forestry/fire related committees. Luedtke begins her new position on October 2 and succeeds Jane Severt who is retiring after over 12 years as WCFA Executive Director. ***

The Wisconsin County Forests Association provides leadership uniting the interests of the
world’s largest county forest program while ensuring long-term forest health and sustainability. Information on the Wisconsin County Forests Association can be found at

Media Contact:
Gary Zimmer, Assistant Executive Director
Wisconsin County Forests Association
3243 Golf Course Rd.
Rhinelander, WI 54501
Phone: (715) 612-2013