At the end of 2006, the LCCMR approved the retention of a consulting team to help them prepare a statewide conservation and preservation plan.
Comprised of a number of U of M experts, and spearheaded by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, other members include private environmental consultants and LCCMR citizen and elected representatives. The Core Management Team for the LCCMR Strategic Plan is lead by Deb Swackhamer, also the director of the U’s Institute on the Environment. The group is allocated a budget of $300,000 for its work with the directive that they “develop a plan for Minnesota’s resources that is based on sound science, through analysis and public outreach, and that can be effectively implemented.” The statewide conservation plan is available online and items regarding the implementation of this group are also available online.
On March 16, the group presented its initial objectives to LCCMR members. Aiming to achieve a broad-based approach in its strategic planning, the group’s expertise stretches throughout the state and every aspect of the environment (air, water, land). LCCMR member attendance was thin: Only two citizen representatives were present (Nancy Gibson and Mary Mueller) and legislative schedules had most elected representatives locked into busy schedules (although Rep. Jean Wagenius dashed in for a brief appearance and the newly appointed Rep. Ron Erhardt also attended).
Now that LCCMR funding recommendations are awaiting a reading in the Senate, LCCMR Director John Velin asked if the group was having problems getting people to meet their timetables in implementing the conservation and preservation plans that rely on funds recommended by the LCCMR. Swackhamer responded that “people really get” their approach of looking at the state in an “integrative aspect,” and that the group’s non-linear approach allows them to define between areas that can be influenced (analysis of water systems, for example) and those which can not be influenced (population growth).
Swackhamer identified the need for the group to identify the “drivers of change” that will ultimately impact the prioritization of natural resource areas, conservation strategies and benchmarks and identify costs and benefits. Such an approach will allow the team to prepare a final plan and recommendation for the LCCMR as it moves forward in its objectives. An important aspect of the group is to also conduct an extensive public outreach campaign to further build support for environmental conservation and preservation through projects funded by the LCCMR.
A two-phase approach, the preliminary plan is to be done by June 2007 and the final plan delivered June 2008. A summary of the group’s presentation is available. The strategic team will continue to refine their strategic plan; the next public meeting is anticipated for some time in late May. For more information, contact Jean Coleman at 612-588-4904 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is an overview of the Core Management Team members:
Paul Bockenstedt is on the Land Team and is a restoration ecologist with Bonestroo, Rosene, Anderlik & Associates, Inc.
Jean Coleman is an attorney and land use specialist with CRP Planning.
Liza Gould is a plant ecologist with Bonestroo, Rosene, Anderlik & Associates, Inc.
Michael Kelberer is with the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment.
Michael McDonough is the Manager of Research and Planning for the LCCMR
Lance Neckar is Professor and Associate Dean at the Unviersity’s Landscape Architecture program in the College of Design.
John Shardlow is president of DSU an urban planning organization that has merged with Bonestroo.
Deb Swackhamer is a professor at the University of Minnesota, director of the University’s Institute on the Environment and co-director of the Water Resources Center