Zimmer of RGS appointed to Natural Resources Board

Dean BortzBiologist Gary Zimmer, of Laona, will replace Dave Clausen on the Natural Resources Board (NRB) beginning in May, if Zimmer’s appointment is confirmed by the Senate.

Zimmer is the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS) biologist for Wisconsin and the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He also works in parts of northern Illinois and eastern Iowa.

Clausen, a veterinarian from Amery, recently served as NRB chairman. His term ends following the April NRB meeting. Clausen was appointed in 2005 by former Gov. Jim Doyle. Gov. Scott Walker could have reappointed Clausen, but instead named Zimmer as his replacement.

Walker made the announcement Friday, April 5 in Hayward.

Zimmer said he is looking forward to serving on the NRB. He has a strong natural resources background, having worked first for the Forest Service and then RGS for 34 years.

“I’m nearing the end of my career and it’s time for me to give something back,” said Zimmer.

Walker could potentially make another NRB appointment before the end of April. The term of current NRB Chairman Preston Cole, of Milwaukee, also ends after the April meeting. Cole, too, was appointed by Doyle.

If Walker were to replace Cole, it would likely mean that current NRB Vice-Chairman Terry Hilgenberg would take over as chairman.

Zimmer is by far the strongest of the four appointments Walker has made to the NRB thus far. Besides Hilgenberg, Walker also appointed Greg Kazmierski and Bill Bruins when he took over as governor.

Zimmer’s natural resources credentials are as strong as those of NRB Member Christine Thomas, with Cole not far off either Zimmer or Thomas.

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