A longtime South Dakota Agriculture Department official has been named state forester.
Gregory Josten succeeds Ray Sowers, who retired last May as state forester and state director of resource conservation and forestry. The two positions are being split, and the director position remains open.
Josten has worked for the state since 1983 as fire management forester, forest stewardship program coordinator and supervisor of the service forestry programs. Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch says Josten has "intimate knowledge" of forestry and the Black Hills.
Josten grew up in Sioux Falls and says his interest in forestry stems from family vacations to the Black Hills when he was a child.
He holds a bachelor's degree in forest resource management and a master's degree in forest science from the University of Montana.