Paul Johansen Named West Virginia DNR Wildlife Resources Section Chief

Paul Johansen
Paul Johansen
West Virginia DNR
West Virginia DNR

South Charleston, WV -( West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) Director Bob Fala has announced the appointment of Paul R. Johansen as chief of the Wildlife Resources Section, effective May 16, 2015.

Johansen, whose previous position was assistant chief in charge of game management, has been serving as acting chief since the retirement of Curtis Taylor in March 2015.

”I believe Paul is an excellent choice to lead the Wildlife Resources Section because of his broad background and experience in all facets of wildlife management and WVDNR in general,” Fala said. “Paul is well respected both within the wildlife community of our state and with the various publics we deal with on a daily basis. He believes that in West Virginia, wildlife is for everyone, and he works hard with our staff and with others outside the agency to keep it that way.”

Paul Johansen is a Certified Wildlife Biologist with more than 33 years of service to the citizens on West Virginia. Throughout his professional career, he has held various positions within WVDNR, including wildlife manager at R.D. Bailey Lake Wildlife Management Area in Wyoming County, assistant district biologist in Fairmont and wildlife planner at the Elkins Operations Center. As assistant chief in charge of game management, he was responsible for administering the statewide game management program, including wildlife management operations in six districts and statewide wildlife research projects.

Among the challenges Johansen and his staff have addressed are the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease among a portion of the white-tailed deer population in the state’s eastern panhandle and a containment plan to deal with it, and a program to reintroduce an elk population into the state’s southern counties currently underway.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Massachusetts and a Master of Science Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Science from Virginia Tech. Johansen serves on many committees for regional, national and international professional wildlife organizations, including The Wildlife Society, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the Atlantic Flyway Council, the Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture and the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative. He is happily married to his lovely wife Anne, and together they share the joy of raising their son William.

In addition to his other duties, Johansen has been involved with many state and federal professional societies and conservation organizations as a member and as an officer. He also has received many honors for his work, including being named WVDNR Employee of the Year in 2006 by the West Virginia Bowhunters Association.

“I am honored to work with some of the finest wildlife professionals in the country and to serve some of the most dedicated hunters and other wildlife-associated recreationists in the nation,” Johansen said. “I am eager to work with them on the wide variety of programs we currently have and the new programs we will develop in the coming years. This is an exciting time for our agency and I look forward to providing West Virginia’s outdoor constituency with the high quality wildlife programs they deserve. I am grateful for this opportunity to serve the citizens of West Virginia and lead our efforts in the management and protection of this state’s abundant and diverse wildlife resources.”

Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

About West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

Hunting and fishing in West Virginia is a time-honored tradition in which the majority of families have at least one member who participates on a regular basis. It is our goal to preserve this tradition and all wildlife resources for generations to come.

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