The state conservation and recreation department is looking to hire a superintendent for the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest, following the death of John J. Varkonda in late December. Mr. Varkonda was 55 and had been the steward of the state forest for 26 years.

Mr. Varkonda’s shoes may prove hard to fill, said DCR district manager Jon Petersen, who has been temporarily overseeing the 5,343-acre forest that sits in the center of the Island. The forest protects the Island's sole source aquifer, provides recreation, hunting and wildlife habitat.

“We are hoping to get as many applicants as we can, especially people who live on the Island,” Mr. Petersen said.

The deadline for applications, which can be viewed on the state’s human resources website, is April 7. The position is also responsible for Nantucket’s state forest areas.