Governor Pawlenty has announced that Gene Merriam is leaving his position as the commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources. The announcement for this, and some other commissioner changes, is available on the Polinaut website.
There was some speculation that this might happen a couple of weeks ago. At the time, the most obvious choice for a replacement was Deputy Commissioner Mark Holsten. His time as a State Representative earned him a particular reputation amongst the environmental crowd, but some do point out that his being promoted to commissioner would actually decrease the amount of time he would be at the legislature lobbying on DNR issues (which is part of his current job description). I guess we’ll learn more in the very near future.
Update: The following link will take you to the DNR press release.