Minnesota Governor: Voting for Commissioner Sarah Strommen

ST. PAUL, MN (STL.News) The Minnesota Senate is expected to take up a vote on the confirmation of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Commissioner Sarah Strommen.

Governor Walz appointed Commissioner Strommen to lead the DNR in January 2019.  Formerly the DNR’s assistant commissioner, Commissioner Strommen oversees a DNR staff of about 2,700 located in St. Paul and around the state, with the mission of working with Minnesotans to conserve and manage the state’s natural resources, providing outdoor recreation opportunities, and providing for commercial uses of natural resources in a way that creates a sustainable quality of life.

Prior to joining the DNR in 2015, Strommen served as assistant director at the Board of Water and Soil Resources before becoming acting deputy director.  She previously served as policy director for Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and as associate director of the Minnesota Land Trust.  Avid about the outdoors, she spends family weekends fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, camping, and hiking.

What Minnesotans around the state are saying about Commissioner Sarah Strommen:

Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance
David Carlson, President
“Commissioner Strommen’s many years of experience with the agency would provide the needed leadership as the agency deals with chronic wasting disease (CWD), aquatic invasive species (AIS), and the other issues important to the sportsmen and women of Minnesota.  Dealing with the challenges of many issues and balancing the funding needed to face them call for a continuity of the leadership Commissioner Strommen can provide.”

Audubon Minnesota
Robert L Schultz, Executive Director and Vice President
“In Audubon’s dealings with the commissioner’s office, on issues relating to wildlife and conservation, Commissioner Strommen has taken a fair and balanced approach and has consistently worked to seek out and listen to the perspectives of the myriad of interested stakeholders. We believe that Commissioner Strommen is best positioned to work with the Legislature to proactively and productively address the challenges that lie ahead for our natural resources.”

Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts, Inc
Mary E. Texer, President
“Commissioner Strommen’s instinct and ability to work with diverse groups and bring them together on issues is commendable and leads to positive outcomes.  The Commissioner meets with Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts (MAWD) on a regular basis to review and discuss any pending issues between our members and the department.  We appreciate the time she spends with us listening to our concerns and recommendations.”

“Commissioner Strommen is a refreshing change at the DNR.  Her local government leadership experience has been beneficial to local governments that work with her and the department.  To not confirm her would be a major loss to the State of Minnesota, and to us as water management stewards.”

Minnesota Forest Industries
Mike Birkeland, Executive Vice President
“Commissioner Strommen has taken time to meet with leaders of our industry to discuss issues of mutual interest and importance to the state and the state’s forest products industry.  She also provides direction to staff to keep the 4.2 million acres of state managed forest lands healthy and sustainable.  We appreciate the DNR’s leadership and partnership on issues important to the health of Minnesota’s forests, our logging and forestry community, and our rural communities in the state.”

All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota
Ron Potter, President
“Her action oriented personality has served her well at the Department of Natural Resources.  She makes decisions when she has to and her staff meets with us on a regular basis to help us improve our trail system based on sustainability.  She has been a refreshing change at DNR.”

“In addition, we were particularly surprised and pleased with her and the department’s positive manner in which they worked with us during the height of the COVID pandemic.  We were able to work through still having to limit activities out of doors during 2020 while protecting our membership.  Commissioner Strommen’s leadership was clearly seen at every phase of this process.  We thank her for that.”

“Not confirming Commissioner Strommen would be a great loss for the State of Minnesota and for us as just one stakeholder working with the Department.”

Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
LeAnn Buck, Executive Director
“Commissioner Strommen has been very accessible and willing to meet with our Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) members. Not only has she been receptive to meeting and sharing information with local districts, she has also been proactive with seeking opportunities to engage in policy discussions with our board of directors and staff.”

“She has also demonstrated leadership by working with our Association to assist with leveraging federal and state funding for local conservation delivery opportunities and landowner assistance, especially in the areas of wildlife habitat and forestry.”

“Most importantly, Commissioner Strommen has firsthand knowledge on how essential partnerships between SWCDs, landowners, and state agencies have had a remarkable impact on enhancing our state’s natural resources.”