Shimek State Forest. (DNR photo)

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is eliminating its forestry division and several jobs in response to state budget cuts.

DNR spokesman Alex Murphy says the Bureau of Forestry is losing its chief, while the district foresters will keep their jobs.

Murphy says, “Just internally through our reorganizational moves, we’ve moved these employees under different areas and actually eliminated the bureau itself, although all the functions of the bureau exist just in different bureaus or divisions.”

Lawmakers approved a $1.2 million cut to the department earlier this year. In addition to the forestry bureau chief being terminated, seven other DNR employees were laid off. Murphy says while the forestry bureau is dissolved, all other employees will remain at the agency.

“They just won’t be part of what is named the forestry bureau,” Murphy says. “Some will be within the parks bureau, some will be within the conservation recreation division, and some will be with the wildlife bureau.” Murphy says these changes won’t affect forestry services. The state geologist position was also eliminated.

(Thanks to Katarina Sostaric, Iowa Public Radio)