Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Regional Director Rita Albrecht will retire July 9, the agency announced Friday, May 31.
Albrecht has served as regional director for the DNR’s northwest region since September of 2016, having previously been the DNR’s regional planner.
The northwest region encompasses 23 counties, from Lake of the Woods County on the north to Pope County on the south, and from the town of Walker on the east to the city of Moorhead on the west. The region is notable for its wide range of recreational opportunities and diversity of landscapes, including prairie grasslands, aspen parklands, and deciduous and coniferous forests.
“I’ve been fortunate to work with many committed staff who are passionate about protecting and enhancing our natural resources,” Albrecht said. “I’m proud of our work and pleased to share their many accomplishments.”
DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen thanked Albrecht for her tenure of public service at the DNR.
“I’m grateful for the strong and thoughtful leadership Rita brought to northwest Minnesota and her ability to forge relationships with our stakeholders,” Strommen said. “We are going to miss her at DNR, but we’re excited for her to start this new chapter in her life.”
Albrecht’s accomplishments include implementing the agency’s strategic land management program and improving communications with counties. Strommen praised Albrecht’s work to foster stronger relationships with local tribes, all-terrain vehicle groups, the timber industry, and watershed districts in the Red River Basin.
Prior to joining the DNR, Albrecht worked for the city of Bemidji, the Headwaters Regional Development Commission, and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. She was recently elected to her fourth term as Bemidji mayor.
The DNR is seeking applicants for the northwest region director position. This is an appointed position that serves at the pleasure of the commissioner. Information about the position and how to apply is posted on the DNR’s website at mndnr.gov/jobs. Applications are due by June 14.