Solberg leaves post on Wisconsin’s NRB

Correspondent

Madison The Natural Resources Board (NRB) was scheduled to vote
for officers as it met in Madison on Jan. 27, but before the vote
Trygve Solberg, NRB chairman the past six years and NRB member the
past 13 years, resigned effective at the end of the meeting.

Solberg, CEO of T.A. Solberg Catering and Retail Support Group
in Minocqua, said that “it has been my distinct pleasure to serve
on the board for 13 years and at the end of the meeting I am going
to retire not resign, but retire.”

Solberg thanked NRB members and the DNR “for a wonderful run.”
He said the DNR staff was very professional and it was his pleasure
to serve on the board.

“I’ll now be able to sit out in the woods looking in, rather
than sitting in here looking out,” Solberg said.

Solberg had talked to several people after the October board
meeting, hinting that he might step down.

“I’ve been on the board a long time, and our business is
expanding,” he said. “Maybe it’s time for someone else to get on
the ship. I am on four boards. I’ve reached a certain birthday, and
my birthday present to myself was to get off the board. It takes up
a lot of time.”

Solberg was NRB chairman during tumultuous times. He was a board
member when the board received the Deer 2000 report, but
established its own committee on deer baiting and feeding; during
controversies over doves and wolves; when two governors replaced
the DNR secretary with their own appointee; when the board was
divided on almost every vote over eliminating baiting and feeding;
and when northern board members expressed their displeasure that
new Gov. Jim Doyle’s administration would not allow board members
to fly on state planes to meetings.

Board members serve as volunteers, with no pay, and are involved
in meetings around the state.

Solberg had informed Doyle of his decision before the Jan. 27
meeting. In a statement, Doyle said he appreciated Solberg’s
dedicated public service.

Doyle has already nominated two people Alan Grischke, of Wausau,
and Christine Thomas, of Stevens Point to eventually take the place
of board members Steve Willett and Jim Tiefenthaler. Grischke and
Thomas have had hearings before the Senate Environmental Committee,
but neither have yet been confirmed by the Senate.

Grischke (who would be a northern member of the board) was in
Madison and attended a dinner Doyle hosted for the NRB and
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection board
following the NRB meeting. It’s possible Grischke could be
appointed to Solberg’s former post. In that case, he could serve
immediately, pending Senate confirmation. Solberg’s term ends May
of 2005.

Doyle has yet to announce his intentions, but the person he
appoints could be serving when the board next meets Feb. 25.

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