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HELENA — A lawyer pursuing a doctorate at the University of Montana School of Forestry has been hired to work as executive director of the Flathead Basin Commission.

The hiring of Caryn Miske for the new position was announced Thursday by Rich Moy, the commission's chairman.

The Montana Legislature established the commission to monitor and protect water quality in the Flathead Basin, which spans the state's border with British Columbia.

Miske lives in Frenchtown and will move to the Flathead area, Moy said.

Her background includes work as a lawyer for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service. She also has prepared environmental analyses while employed by a consulting firm.

Miske holds a bachelor's degree in public affairs from the State University of New York at Albany and a master's in environmental policy from New York's Columbia University. She received a law degree from the University of Montana, where she edited the Public Land and Resources Law Review.

The 23-member commission had considered for several years the hiring of an executive, Moy said earlier this year when the job was advertised. It is a state position.

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