Governor Tim Walz
Governor Tim Walz

Statement on Gov. Elect Walz's Commissioner Appointments

MINNEAPOLIS—The following is a statement from Paul Austin, Executive Director of Conservation Minnesota in response to this Governor-elect Walz’s latest batch of Commissioner nominations.

“The outstanding Commissioners nominated by Governor-elect Walz today keep with his One Minnesota campaign promise to strive for a state where what unites us is lifted above what divides us. The nominees each come with a diversity of experience that will be necessary to successfully address many of the big issues we face as a state.

The selection for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Laura Bishop, comes from the business community, but brings with her a career dedicated to working on sustainability issues at one of Minnesota’s most innovative companies. Her experience will be essential in helping bridge the communication gap that sometimes exists between environmental and business interests.

Thom Peterson will represent farming interests well at the Department of Agriculture.  Peterson has long split his time between his Pine City farm and state and national agricultural policy debates in his long held role as Government Relations Director for the Minnesota Farmers Union.<

Finally, his selection of Sarah Strommen, the first woman in history to head the Department of Natural Resources is a bold choice. Strommen has worked her whole career on conservation issues. She has proven a pragmatic leader as the Mayor of Ramsey, MN. Her recent positions at the DNR and BWSR will position her well to hit the ground running from day one.

Conservation Minnesota is a nonpartisan organization working to protect the Minnesota you love. With a network of over 80,000 Minnesotans statewide, Conservation Minnesota’s unique approach starts by asking Minnesotans which conservation issues are most important to solve. Our annual surveys have found that clean water enjoys support that crosses all demographic and partisan lines.

MORE INFO:  For more information on Conservation Minnesota, or to set up an interview with Paul Austin, please contact Nate Dybvig at or 651.230.3018.