John Erixson has been named the next state forester and director of the Nebraska Forest Service. He was deputy director for two years and was promoted after a national search.
“I am proud of how well the Nebraska Forest Service serves Nebraska, and I know as director and state forester John will lead the forest service to continue delivering the excellent programs and services that ensure the health of our forests and communities,” said Ron Yoder, associate vice chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Before coming to the forest service, Erixson, a Nebraska native, spent more than 20 years managing natural resources in Idaho for a private consulting firm. He holds bachelor and master’s degrees in resource management from the University of Idaho. He is an active member of several regional and national organizations, including the Society of American Foresters and the Invasive Species Council.
“There is an impressive legacy of forest stewardship in Nebraska. To say I have big shoes to fill is a bit of an understatement,” Erixson said. “A large part of my role starts with serving Nebraskans, and I am looking forward to giving back to my home state.”
Erixson assumes leadership of the forest service at a challenging time. The emerald ash borer was discovered in Omaha in June 2016 and is expected to destroy most of Nebraska’s green ash trees as it spreads across the state.