There's a new Department of Natural Resources conservation officer in each of 13 communities across the state, now that individuals who’ve spent the better part of the past year in training have been assigned their field stations.

Nicholas Baum will be stationed in Park Rapids, while Jordan Anderson is in Wadena.

The new conservation officers, who were chosen from among hundreds of applicants, bring with them diverse backgrounds and experiences. After training from May to September at the Conservation Officer Academy at Camp Ripley, they spent the past several months working throughout the state with experienced officers. The new officers assumed their initial stations Dec. 25.

“The training and field experience our new officers have had during the past eight months have prepared them well and we’re confident they’ll carry on the department’s proud tradition of serving our communities and protecting our state’s natural resources,” said Rodmen Smith, director of the DNR Enforcement Division.

There are 155 field stations across the state, each covering about 650 square miles. With the newest class of conservation officers now stationed, there remain 17 field stations without full-time, dedicated coverage. The DNR plans to hold another academy in the spring of 2020.