MN DNR Names Big Game Program Leader

DNR names Erik Thorson acting big game program leader

(Released March 5, 2012)

Erik Thorson, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) forest wildlife coordinator, has accepted a temporary assignment to oversee the agency’s while-tailed deer and other big game programs.

Thorson will assume duties previously performed by Lou Cornicelli, who was recently promoted to Wildlife Section research manager. In addition to overseeing the state’s elk and moose programs, Thorson will help implement and manage the agency’s upcoming deer population goal reassessment process.

Thorson began his DNR career in 2001 as a private lands specialist. He served as Park Rapids area assistant wildlife manager from 2001-2006. He has served as a regional forest wildlife coordinator for about six years. He will work out of the DNR’s Park Rapids office. The appointment is scheduled to end after the agency selects a permanent big game coordinator, which is anticipated to occur later this spring.

Thorson has been a member of the DNR’s Deer Management Committee since 2005. He led the DNR’s deer goal-setting process for north-central Minnesota in 2006. He coordinated Chronic Wasting Disease sampling efforts in the DNR’s Northwest Region in 2004, and has assisted with Bovine Tuberculosis control and sampling in northwestern Minnesota.

Thorson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in fisheries and wildlife and a Master of Science degree in wildlife conservation from the University of Minnesota.