Waiting for a new MN DNR commissioner
We’re still waiting to hear who Gov.-elect Mark Dayton will
appoint to lead the Minnesota DNR. Here’s betting we’ll know in the
next few days, just in time for the 2011 DNR Wildlife and Fisheries
Roundtable, which begins Friday at the Earle Brown Center in
Brooklyn Center. Preliminary meetings with some of the nonprofit
groups actually begin this Thursday.
On Dec. 31, Dayton appointed Paul Aasen, director at the
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, to lead the Minnesota
Pollution Control Agency as commissioner. This, along with Dave
Fredrickson at Department of Agriculture, qualify as good picks.
There’s some concern among conservationists, however, that Dayton’s
transition team might try to balance those picks with someone from
northern Minnesota with more of a logging or mining background for
Rod Skoe, a DFL state senator and farmer from Clearwater, was being
repeatedly mentioned last week as a possible candidate. Given
Skoe’s opposition to some conservation efforts over the years,
including the Legacy Amendment, state conservation leaders last
week were not supportive of him possibly getting the job. Dennis
Anderson at the Star Tribune reported Saturday that Skoe had
withdrawn his name from consideration late last week. I’ll go on
record here: That’s good.
There are a lot of fine names out there for the job, including Tom
Landwehr and Dave Schad. Dayton and his team need to remember the
promise they made to state hunters and anglers at Game Fair back in
August and in the Outdoor News interview: to appoint a resource
professional to the post.