Thorn Hired as FLOW AIS Coordinator
For Living on the Lake
Lumberjack Resource Conservation and Development Council has hired Rhinelander-area native Derek Thorn as the FLOW (Forest, Langlade, Oconto Waterways) AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) Coordinator. Thorn was born and raised in the 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.
Before being hired for his current position, Thorn 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 electrofishing surveys.
Thorn said working to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species is something he values and finds essential.
“Leaning about invasive species and protecting our native waterways was my main focus in college, Thorn said. “I am incredibly happy I have the opportunity to continue making a difference in the world of aquatic invasive species.”
In his free time, Thorn spends 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 and prevention. Lumberjack RC&D Council, acting as the agent for Forest, Langlade and Oconto Counties, will administer WDNR AIS programming.
“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,” said Tracy Beckman, executive director for Lumberjack. “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 and Oconto counties’ land and water conservation departments.
He can be reached at 715-490-3325 or by email, FlowAIS@LumberjackRCD.Org.